Emsworth family pull on walking boots in Aiden's memory
A LOVING dad will be walking 100 miles through the countryside to raise money in memory of his son.
Alan Outen, from Emsworth, and three other close friends and relatives will be walking from Winchester Cathedral to Eastbourne Pier on Saturday.
The group are taking on the 103-mile South Downs Way route to raise cash for Aiden’s Activity Fund.
The charity was started by Alan and his wife Emma in 2015 after their son Aiden died from leukaemia.
To make the challenge even harder, Alan wants to complete the walk in just 48 hours.
The 38-year-old said: ‘Normally when people do this walk, they do short distances over the course of five to nine days.
‘But I wanted to set us more of a challenge and complete the full route in 48 hours.
‘I am not sure how the others felt about that but we are all training hard and are prepared to do it.
‘The usual walk is 100 miles but we will be starting at the Cathedral rather than the usual South Downs Way start so it’ll add around three miles to our journey.
‘We are all looking forward to it though and we can’t wait to finally get it started at 6am on Saturday.’
The group, which includes Aiden’s cousin Abbeygail Peters, his godfather Dean Penwarden and his uncle Martin Outen, have been training for the walk and since January, have been walking every Saturday.
If they are busy during the day, they walk in the evening and at night. Since January, they have walked more than 372 miles.
The group has not set a fundraising target but Alan said they want to raise as much as possible.
‘We have raised £1,300 so far which is great considering the walk hasn’t happened yet,’ he said.
‘I just want to raise as much as we can for Aiden’s Activity Fund.’
The fund provides activity packs for children going into Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, where Aiden was treated for leukaemia.
The 12-year-old was getting treatment at QA Hospital, in Cosham, and would often say he was bored.
So the activity packs have colouring books, pencils, crafts and games for children patients when they go onto the paediatric ward.
The charity has also funded for a playroom at the hospital.
Alan added: ‘The money from the walk will go towards providing more activity packs.
‘We were really pleased when we were able to pay for the playroom and we want to keep going with our fundraisers.’
To make a donation for the walk visit localgiving.org/fundraising/sdw