Hiking events

Bicester man hikes England’s longest National Trail to raise money for cancer charities

A man walks England’s longest National Trail as part of a 30-day challenge to raise money for two cancer charities.

Luke Williams, 34, will sail 630 miles along the southwest coast in 30 days.

Mr Williams – sales manager at Carpet Trade Bicester – will start from Minehead on August 26 and average around 20 miles a day to finish in Swanage on September 30.

The challenge marks 10 years since Mr Williams lost his father Tad Williams to cancer in July 2012.

Since his father’s death he has raised £35,000 for various cancer charities, and for this challenge he hopes to raise £630 which will be split between two charities – Cancer Research UK and SeeSaw.

Mr Williams said: “Unfortunately, cancer has been a huge part of my life since my father was first diagnosed.

“10 years later, and in some ways it feels like we were playing golf together yesterday, but we miss him every day.

“As a family, we don’t want anyone to go through what we went through with dad, so cancer research is incredibly close to our hearts.

Read more: A new post office opens in Bicester

“I am also walking for my friend Steve who passed away from cancer in 2018.

“He had a young family and SeeSaw was an incredible support for them, so hopefully through my fundraising I can give something back.”

Mr Williams plans to camp for part of the trip and accept offers of accommodation from friends along the way.

He will also be joined on different parts of the course by his friends and family.

For Mr Williams, this is the latest of a number of challenges he has taken on for cancer research, including a one-million-step one-month challenge in 2021.

He added: “Every time I take on another challenge, it seems to be my biggest yet, but I know it’s going to push me to my limits.

“Some days I’ll walk the length of a marathon, then pitch a tent for the night before doing it again.

“The road is also full of ascents and descents – the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest four times.

“I’m starting to get nervous, but I know those we lost will be with me and their memories will spur me on.”

Mr Williams has been working 6 weeks a week since May to ensure he can get paid while taking the walk.

He said he will be tired when he starts walking, but his employers have been very helpful and kind to him.

To donate to Mr William’s cause, visit: Luke Williams raises funds for Stand Up To Cancer – a campaign of Cancer Research UK (justgiving.com)

This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on researching stories from various communities.

Contact him by email: [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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