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A Cambridge dad-of-three and former Atlantic rower who is walking the coastline of mainland Britain for disadvantaged children and youngsters is appealing to the people of Kintyre for support.
Chris Howard set off from Heacham in Norfolk on July 26, giving himself a year to complete the 11,000-mile trek to raise money for BBC Children In Need.
He is currently making his way from Tarbert to the Mull of Kintyre before returning back up the peninsula to continue his mammoth journey during which he has to walk up to 30 miles a day, foraging for food and sleeping in the open.
Although he is carrying with him everything required to survive, including a lightweight cooking system and ‘bivvy’ bag to sleep in, Chris would love to hear from anyone who may be able to offer him some hospitality.
‘I don’t know anyone in Scotland and most of my time is spent alone,’ he told the Courier. ‘I get quite lonely but occasionally I meet someone awesome that feeds me or lets me stay in a spare room or their garden.’
Lockdown gave Chris a lot of time to think about how lucky his three daughters are but also about those less fortunate and in more difficult circumstances.
Feeling it was time to turn the negative impact of coronavirus into something positive, Chris set his sights on walking the coastline to give young people hope.
Through his website and social media accounts, Chris documents his journey during which he hosts virtual talks with schools and community groups where possible.
Leaving behind his wife and children has been particularly challenging for Chris but he hopes his journey will inspire children and adults to get outdoors and be respectful of their environment and essentially love where they live.
Owner of the building company Cambridge Renovations, Chris is dedicating himself to raising as much money as he can for BBC Children In Need – and has so far received more than £25,000.
Chris, who has no support team and does all his own admin and online posts, has previously devised and participated in challenges including rowing the Atlantic, long- distance cycle rides and marathons.
‘I’ve always wanted to push myself and inspire others,’ he said, ‘but no matter what I do, I want it to be for a worthy cause and I can’t think of a better one than BBC Children In Need right now as their continued work is incredibly worthwhile.
‘I would like to thank everyone who has supported me so far. I’m just a guy a long way from home trying to make a bit of a difference to children in the UK.’
Donations and offers of support can be made via Chris’s website at www.thecoastwalker.com which links to his JustGiving page.
You can also keep up-to-date with Chris’s progress via his social media accounts: Facebook and Instagram – @christhecoastwalker; Twitter – @thecoastwalker and YouTube – Chris The Coast Walker.