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Bob's Coast to Coast fundraiser

Bob Dickman is raising money for the Great North Air Ambulance Service by walking 1 mile a day on a section of the Coast to Coast route at Burnbanks near Bampton. His plan is to raise money by walking the equivalent of the length of the Coast to Coast route - 200 miles. Bob was a very early member of the Pennine Journey Supporters Club and one of the many benefits he has brought to the PJSC was persuading our Treasurer, Catherine, to come on board with her invaluable knowledge and expertise. Read Bob's story below.


Heather Pitt joins Bob on one of his days walkAfter my wife Jan died in May 2000 David and Heather Pitt asked if I would like to use their planned September Coast to Coast Walk to raise monies for Leukaemia Research. So, aged 68 and for the first time undertaking a long distance walk,17 people – I and my family, David and Heather, Connie Brunskill, Ian and Jane Gregg and other friends – set out from St Bees and walked to Bampton. A couple of days later David, Heather and I then pressed on to Robin Hoods Bay. With support from the Bampton community and friends over £11,000 was raised for research into leukaemia at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Newcastle.

In the following years I joined David & Heather on the West Highland Way (battling the midges!) and in 2006 we teamed up again with Ian, Jane, Connie and also Maureen Cummings to walk the Hadrian’s Wall Path to raise money for a favourite charity of mine – the Great North Air Ambulance Service and over £4000 was raised.

Bob is always ready to accept donations towards his fundraising for GNAASThe GNAAS covers a large area of four counties providing a vital front line service and link to the NHS hospitals in this area by ferrying sick and injured people - their helicopter has used the flat field on the side of my house for this purpose.

More walks with David and Heather followed – the Great Glen Way, Offa’s Dyke Path (part), Speyside Way, Isle of Man Coast Path, Isle of Wight Coast Path, Fife Coast Path. In 2012 we did a fundraising walk across Morecambe Bay and I noticed that the support vehicles were tractors – just my field, having worked and travelled around the world during 43 years working for Massey Ferguson. I am a member of the Eden Valley Vintage Tractor Club and in 2013, then aged 81 and an iconic grey Ferguson tractor enthusiast, I organised the first mass tractor crossing covering 17 miles of the treacherous Morecambe Bay sands. This raised £8500 for Diabetes UK (an illness my sister-in-law had developed) and was strongly supported by people from Bampton.

Now 20 years after my first fundraiser I have decided, at the age of 88, to further my ambition to raise money for the GNAAS by linking in with an appeal by the Pennine Journey Supporters Club. Since I started to self-isolate in early March I have walked a mile each day on the Coast to Coast Walk through the bluebell wood at Burnbanks and intend to continue until I covered the length of that route.

A Just Giving page has been set up and anyone who wishes to support this worthy cause can do so at www.justgiving.com. We have now topped the £1000 mark – every little helps!!

Bob Dickman





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