Brave Royal Mail postman Mark Penfold started (27 May 2016) to walk one of our earliest postal routes - from Edinburgh to London.
The walk will form part of Royal Mail’s celebration of 500 years of the postal service, and will raise money for charity, the Lily Foundation.
Mark launched his massive walk from Edinburgh’s East Delivery Office. He will be cheered on by colleagues as he attempts to walk around 500 miles of what was the London to Edinburgh postal route - one of the oldest postal routes in the UK.
The Lily Foundation is a charity close to Mark’s heart. His grandson, 18-month-old Frankie, suffers from the life-limiting Mitochondrial Disease, It’s a genetic condition that prevents cells in the body from producing enough energy for the body to survive. It can affect any part of the body, including the heart, brain, muscles, eyes, hearing, stomach or kidneys and has no known cure.
The Lily Foundation funds research to improve diagnosis and increase treatment options for Mitochondrial Disease, and ultimately find a cure. The charity also raises much needed awareness of the condition and support families affected by Mitochondrial Disease.
Mark (50) will be supported by family, friends and colleagues throughout the walk. Royal Mail and Communications Workers Union (CWU) will be providing all support and supplies. All funds Mark raises, up to a maximum of £20,000 will also be matched by Royal Mail. The Burnham on Sea postie will finish by crossing Tower Bridge on 18 June 2016, en route to the Guild Hall in London, where he will join Royal Mail’s 500 year celebrations in the Capital.
Mark, who aims to walk around 20 miles a day, said: “I am privileged to be following in the footsteps of ancient postal carriers to mark 500 years of the postal service. I am also trying to raise money for a cause close to my heart. Thinking of Frankie will spur me on to the finish line in London on 18 June 2016. I can’t thank Royal Mail, my colleagues and the CWU enough, for the first class help, support and organisation it has taken to get me to the start today. I am looking forward to seeing many other fellow postmen and women on my route, as well as Lily Foundation supporters.”
Royal Mail colleagues and Lily Foundation supporters will be out in force along the 500 mile route cheering Mark on in East Linton, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Newcastle, Durham, Darlington, Thirsk, York, Whitely, Doncaster, Carlton-on-Trent, Grantham, Stamford, Sawtry,. Cambridgeshire, Buntingford and Waltham Abbey.
Sue Whalley, Chief Operating Officer, Royal Mail said: “Mark has decided to take on this amazing challenge as we celebrate 500 years of the postal service. Our postmen and women across the UK go the extra mile for good causes. We are proud to support Mark. His commitment and dedication to raising money for Frankie is outstanding and we hope many of our colleagues help him along the route. We always knew our postman and woman were first class; but Mark is the only one with such a long delivery walk.”
Mark will be followed on the route by a Royal Mail branded vehicle with CWU helpers carrying supplies, 100 bananas, 125 litres of water, 25 Royal Mail teeshirts, two pairs of trainers, five tubs of Vaseline, 50 pairs of socks, 50 sports drinks, 30 bags of peanuts, 25 protein shakes, 10 tubes of deep heat and 30 packets of jelly babies.
CWU General Secretary, Dave Ward, said: "Mark is taking on this challenge for a fantastic cause. I am sure colleagues across the UK will join me in wishing him the best of luck as he prepares to set off. Please consider donating to the fund - even the smallest of gestures goes such a long way."
Liz Curtis, Founder and CEO of the Lily Foundation, added: “Mark has certainly set himself a huge challenge with this mammoth walk and we are delighted he is doing it in aid of The Lily Foundation. We will be there to see him off and to welcome him back and hope that our Lily families will come out and support him throughout. We would like thank Royal Mail and CWU for all their support with this walk. Good luck Mark.”
Anyone can donate or support Mark at www.sponsorme.co.uk/markpenfold
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