At the end of August three friends, Paul Turrell, Simon Fanning and our very own Chief Executive Mike Palfreman set off on a lifetime ambition – to walk the length of the UK from John O’Groats, Scotland, to Land’s End, Cornwall. And we are delighted to say they made it.  

Inspired by former English cricketer Ian Botham’s 1985 charity walk over the same route, Paul and Simon averaged around 30 miles (more than a marathon) a day throughout the challenge and burned more than 105,000 calories.  

Mike joined them for over 500 miles of the immense journey with 42 friends and colleagues joining them along the route, with another 22 holding their own walks “in synch” across the globe in Switzerland, USA, Cayman Islands, Dubai and Canada.  

The challenge has taken place during what has been an extraordinary year, not only for us as a charity as we navigate the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, but on a brighter note for Mike – who turned 60 and is also celebrating his 10th year as our Chief Executive.  

Mike said:

I have been incredibly proud to have been a part of Paul and Simon’s immense achievement. Their commitment and dogged persistence in maintaining an average of 30 miles a day in the face of increasing strains and painful blisters was nothing short of heroic and the difference they have made to Haven House in terms of awareness and particularly significant funds raised is massive.  

We are so thankful for all the support from colleagues, family, friends and our many sponsors. The fantastic amount of money raised will be used to help us continue to provide care throughout our community.

The walk took the group to the highways and byways of the UK where they endured sore feet, aching limbs, inclement weather, and fatigue. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom as they enjoyed some of the most stunning scenery, encouragement from walking companions and a great celebration with loved ones at the end.  

Speaking about the highs and lows of the challenge Simon explained: “The toughest moment was, without a doubt, the day we walked 70km (44 miles) – 13.5 hours of walking and finishing in the darkness and cold.  

The most memorable was walking the West Highland Way in Scotland – the scenery was spectacular, and we had a day of sunshine and a day of incessant rain! The best moment for me was when Paul flagged down a passing Mr Whippy Van to buy us all ice-creams.

Although the trio have now completed their journey, donations can still be made here: 

Thank you to our sponsors:

Aitch Group
Pop-Up Property (Phillip Leigh)
The Media People
Centor Insurance & Risk Management Ltd
Orbian Management Ltd
Tribeca Technology Group
Goldex Essex
Utilize Plc
Chigwell Group
International General Insurance (IGI)