RNLI charity walker on last leg of 9500 mile fundraiser arrives at Blyth RNLI
RNLI charity walker Alex Ellis-Roswell will be walking down the North East coast over the next few weeks.
Alex started walking the 9500 mile coast of Britain and Ireland on 3rd August 2014. He's been walking nonstop ever since and has just completed the 4500 mile walk round the Scottish coast.
He arrived at Blyth RNLI lifeboat station on Tuesday 25 July and met up with some of the crew who were training that evening.
He undertook the challenge to raise money for the RNLI. The RNLI is a charity that operates 237 lifeboat stations around Britain and Ireland and relies entirely on volunteers and donations to save an average of 23 lives every single day. Alex is walking to all 237 lifeboat stations and has already raised nearly £60,000.
'There's no doubt lifeboat volunteers are heroes,' says Alex. 'I must have met over one thousand volunteers by now. Their dedication, sacrifice and bravery is an inspiration. And the fact I've managed to raise so much money to support them says to me how much respect people have for the volunteer crews and what they do for us.
'It's unfortunate there's so much bad news in the world right now. But here are thousands of men and women, from all different backgrounds, coming together to help others. It restores your faith in humanity.'
Alex's walk started from his hometown in Margate, Kent on the south east coast of England. From there he walked west along the south coast and spent his first winter walking around the Cornish coast. He then walked up the Welsh coast and back into England.
When Alex made it to Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway in July 2015 he got a ferry to Belfast and started his 2500 mile walk round the coast of Ireland. He completed Ireland and was back in Scotland in August 2016. That's when Alex started walking up the west coast towards the Outer Hebrides where he spent Christmas and New Years Eve.
Alex hopes to have finished the last 1000 miles of his walk down the east coast of England by November this year. When he finishes back where he started in Kent, Alex will have walked for over 3 years and taken over 20 million footsteps.
Alex says, 'The past year walking round Scotland has proven to be one of the most challenging years of my whole walk. I was up in the Outer Hebrides this winter where winds reached over 100mph. I've fallen and fractured my ankle. I've walked through hurricanes and through the vast Highlands landscape. But despite the challenges, I fell in love with Scotland. The hospitality and generosity of all the communities I walked through up there blew me away.
'And the support I receive from the thousands of people following me on social media, that's helped me.
'Thank you as well to The Commissioners Quay Inn, Blyth for their hospitality which is very much appreciated.'
If you would like to donate to RNLI Lifeboats you can donate online here:
And you can follow and support Alex on his Facebook profile here: www.facebook.com/alexellisroswell
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Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
Learn more about the RNLI
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.
The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland