Melbourn man says outpour of donations for 270 mile walk is ‘humbling’

Keith Barrell receiving a cheque from Steve Harrington of The Black Horse pub.

Keith Barrell receiving a cheque from Steve Harrington of The Black Horse pub. - Credit: Archant

After completing a coast to coast walk – some of it three-legged – with pals, Melbourn’s Keith Barrell didn’t think he’d do anything like it again.

That was until he watched a tv programme about the Pennine Way and decided to put his hiking boots back on to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

He said: “ I wanted another challenge in my life – I asked my friends to do it but they weren’t free so I decided to do it by myself. I lost my mother Mai Barrell back in November 2013 to cancer. A lot of people are touched by it and want to donate to a good cause.”

The Pennine Way is a gruelling 269 miles between Edale in Derbyshire and Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders, which took Keith 16 and a half days – walking about 10 hours a day – to complete.

He added: “It was lonely at times out on the moors. My friend Don Sell from Melbourn came to join me for four days, and a couple of colleagues who work up north joined me for a couple of days. It helped having people there, and my daughter joined me for the last four days, she’d come and meet me at the end of each day – it was nice to see a friendly face.”

When he returned, a fundraising day was held at The Black Horse pub in Melbourn, which raised more than £1,000 – and added to his JustGiving efforts – means he has raised more than £4,000.

The civil servant said: “I am so grateful for people’s generosity – without that it’s just an old bloke doing a walk. It’s quite humbling. I can’t thank people enough for their support, and the work The Black Horse does for charity is amazing.”

You can still donate to Keith’s fundraising page by clicking here.