70th birthday trek of country

A man from Knaresborough is preparing to mark his 70th birthday by trekking from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise funds for Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice near Keighley.

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 2:49 pm

Staveley resident Tony Hennigan, a former CID chief and BBC investigator, will set off from Land’s End in Cornwall on April 27 and hopes to reach John O’Groats in Scotland around two months later.

This is not the first time he has taken on the epic 1,000-mile route and it follows previous expeditions for his 50th and 60th birthdays, where he raised thousands for Children in Need.

In 2001 he was accompanied by his Irish Red Setter Bess and a decade later by faithful canine companion Rua, also an Irish Red Setter. Rua, who is now nearly 12, will be by his side again for this third and final challenge.

Throughout the journey Tony will be entirely self-sufficient, refusing lifts and public transport and carrying all his essentials in one rucksack.

In line with COVID restrictions, he will initially sleep at campsites and then use bed and breakfast along the route.

The fundraising challenge is in aid of Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice near Keighley, which provides expert palliative care and support to people living with life-limiting conditions, and their families.

Tony said: “Fortunately at the moment my family are fit, healthy and thriving - but not everyone is so lucky.

“I have seen first-hand the love, friendship and compassion that Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice offers to all those it cares for and there really was no other choice when deciding which charity I should support.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on their funding and I hope the money raised will help them continue to improve the quality of life for people at times of crisis and upset in their lives.”

Tony has been a regular blood donor for 50 years and recently received an award for donating his 750th unit. He hopes that people who are unable to donate money may instead consider becoming a blood donor.

Tony hopes to raise £3,000. To donate and support him in his Land’s End to John O’Groats challenge, visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/anthony-hennigan

For more information about Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice, visit: sueryder.org/how-we-can-help/sue-ryder-manorlands-hospice