Stu Francis hikes 21 miles to Horwich to help children's charity
Entertainer Stu Francis and a dedicated group of fundraisers hiked 21 miles in aid of a disabled children’s charity.
The comedian was in a group of about 30 people which completed a circular walk from Chorley to Horwich and back.
Fundraiser Norman Thomas, aged 74, from Horwich, always said he would call it a day on the 10th anniversary of the Ray of Sunshine walk.
But that was before he met Crackerjack star Stu, who convinced him to do one more walk.
The event has raised more than £20,000 since it started in 2003, supporting Bolton Hospice and Daytrippers, which provides subsidised outings and activities for disabled children and their families in the borough.
Stu, who is the patron of Daytrippers Bolton, said: “It’s 21 miles, but when we were going up Winter Hill it felt more like 51!
“You forget how beautiful Bolton and the surrounding areas are. When you look around, there’s some absolutely stunning scenery.
“There’s a great spirit in this group. You mention ‘charity’ and people want to join in. It shows how kind people are.”
Catherine Booth, Daytrippers Bolton secretary, said: “This wouldn’t have been happening if Stu hadn’t done it this year. He has been a massive help in getting everyone involved.
“A lot of people recognise him, so it’s been a pleasure to have him on board.”
Another of the fundraisers, Carole Brennan, Daytrippers Bolton joint chairman, said: “The walk has been hard work, but enjoyable. It’s phenomenal what everyone’s doing — it’s a real test of endurance and fitness. It’s so heartwarming to see how many people have volunteered to do this. We can’t thank them enough.”
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