‘Everything that could have gone wrong did’ says Northampton teacher on 2000km charity trek to Rome

From ending up 30 miles in the wrong direction to tumbling into a field, David has experienced a whirlwind of ups and downs to raise money for two charities

Monday, 25th July 2022, 3:27 pm

A Northampton primary school teacher has taken on a 2000km walking and cycling challenge from Canterbury to Rome to raise money for two charities.

David Town, aims to raise £1,000 to be split between Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) - a charity supporting young people experiencing homelessness or hostile environments.

David completed the first leg of his journey from Canterbury to Laon in France over the Easter period this year on a second-hand bicycle.

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David Town is preparing to complete the second leg of his 2000km fundraiser from Canterbury to Rome.

On the first 260km leg of the fundraiser, David said: “It was a whirlwind of ups and downs. Everything that could have gone wrong did.

“Foot passengers were not allowed to cross the channel so I had to take a second-hand bike; the P&O ferry incident meant I ended up in Dunkirk rather than Calais, which is 30 miles in the wrong direction; it snowed heavily while I was wild camping; and then when I was cycling uphill outside Tergnier, my bike chain broke and I fell into a field. I then walked to Laon before returning home.”

The primary school teacher will return to Laon to complete the remainder of the fundraiser on Tuesday, July 26 in a bid to reach Rome in October.

The walk should take him approximately 75 days across the French countryside, through the mountains of Switzerland, the Italian Alps and the Tuscan countryside before his arrival in Rome.

David said: “I’m quite nervous now; training was going really well until I damaged my left knee, so I’m currently resting instead of training. Hopefully everything will still go to plan.”

Alzheimer’s Research UK, focuses on preventing, diagnosing and treating dementia, and supports around one million people in the UK living with dementia. According to the charity, one in three people over 65 in the UK will die with some form of dementia.

Regional fundraising officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK Naomi Walters said: “We’re so grateful to David for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK.

“Fantastic fundraising efforts like this will help us to make life-changing research breakthroughs for people with dementia.”

The AKT supports young people into safer homes, employment, education or training.

Community fundraising officer at AKT Gary Wilson said: “We cannot thank David enough for wishing to support AKT by way of this extreme challenge.

“It is heartening to think that people do still care about the young homeless and ‘at risk’ people that are on our streets today because of who they are. AKT is here to help those young people to live as they want to be in a safe and secure environment.”

David has, so far, raised £100 out of his £1,000 goal.

Keep up to date with David’s charity hike or donate to his Go Fund Me page by visiting www.taplink.cc/davidtown.

For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org

For more information about AKT, visit www.akt.org.uk.