Royal Navy veterans take on 60-mile non-stop walk overnight in South Downs for stillbirth and cancer charities

TWO navy veterans are set to walk at least 60 miles in 24 hours in a £1,000 fundraising bid for two charities.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 4:55 am
Glenn Chatwood and Richard Thompson training for their 60-mile non-stop walk. Picture: Andy Hornby

Friends Richard Thompson and Glenn Chatwood will take on the South Downs Way later this month non-stop – walking through the night with headtorches on.

They will put their hardened naval fortitude to good use on the walk between September 18-19, although Richard fears the soles of his feet are too alike to ‘peaches’ and will heavily blister.

‘Glenn has got rock-hard-skinned feet – and mine are like peaches,’ 48-year-old Richard said.

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‘Even on our 17-mile practice walks my skin blisters.’

But it will be worth the effort as they are raising for two worthy charities.

The challenge was set as Glenn wanted to support his son Ross, 28, and Ross’s fiancee Katie Aslet, 25, after the Segensworth couple lost their baby at 38 weeks in September 2018.

Glenn, from Priddy’s Hard in Gosport, is backing Sands United FC, the football team set up by Sands – the stillbirth and neonatal death charity.

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His half of the funds will go towards Sands, while Richard has chosen to support Cancer Research UK as nearly everyone knows someone affected by cancer.

Glenn, 58, said: ‘There’s more dads and uncles out there who are suffering the loss of an infant that’s just been born, or due to be born, and some of them don’t know where to turn.

‘It’s a fantastic way to get them together.’

The cash will be spent on anything Sands United FC needs, including balls and kit.

Glenn and Richard became firm friends after meeting in 1995 while serving together at the shore establishment HMS Dryad at Southwick in catering.

They have been putting in practice walks and are comfortable with the distance – but the non-stop element of the challenge will prove tasking.

Richard, who praised his pal as having a ‘heart of gold,’ said: ‘Whilst we probably won’t raise a fortune it’s just that little bit that goes to helping a person, or maybe that little chink in the armour in finding the next cure for a cancer, treatment or making life easier for somebody affected.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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