Hampshire walkers raise money for asbestos charity

STEPPING OUT The Walk for Dad walkers
STEPPING OUT The Walk for Dad walkers

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DOZENS of walkers spent their Sunday walking eight miles to raise money for an asbestos charity.

The walk was organised by Vickie Sykes, 40, from Fareham, following the death of her father, George Roxburgh, who died as a result of being exposed to the killer substance.

George, from Portchester, died in October last year, aged 71, from mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused by inhaling asbestos.

He was exposed to it during the 1970s when he worked on naval bases for a ceiling company.

Vickie organised the walk with his oldest grandaughter, Natalie Prescott, 23, also from Fareham, to honour the memory of her dad.

The walkers set off at 11am from Stokes Bay Sailing Club, Gosport and took the scenic route on their way to the Sir Joseph Paxton Pub on Hunts Pond Road, in Titchfield Common.

Vickie said: ‘The weather was gorgeous and people stopped to give us money and cars beeped their horns in support.’

The group were greeted at around 2.30pm with a buffet, marking the end of their walk.

They were raising money for Hampshire Asbestos Support and Awareness Group (HASAG).

Vickie said: ‘We chose HASAG because they are a local charity and were there for our family the day after my dad was diagnosed, in June 2010.

‘They sorted out solicitors, doctors and anyone else we need to see. They were fantastic.’

Every year, Vickie and her family attend HASAG’s annual dove release, which takes place in Southsea.

The group raised around £2,000 in sponsorship for HASAG, which was double their initial target.

Everyone who took part in the charity walk knew George in some way.

Vickie said: ‘If my dad was here, he would have never have done it, he would have said “I’ll just donate instead”.

‘I wanted my dad to be remembered the way he was, fantastic, no one ever had a bad word to say against him.’

To find out more about the charity at hasag.co.uk.