Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

RNLI fundraiser completes 2,500-mile Irish leg of epic charity coastal walk

Published 10/08/2016

Alex Ellis-Roswell outside the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast as he completed the 2,500-mile Irish leg of his journey around the entire coastline of Britain and Ireland
Alex Ellis-Roswell outside the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast as he completed the 2,500-mile Irish leg of his journey around the entire coastline of Britain and Ireland

A sheep farmer aiming to walk the entire coastline of Britain and Ireland has completed the 2,500-mile (4,023km) Irish leg of his journey.

Alex Ellis-Roswell arrived back in Belfast 13 months after starting his epic clockwise journey round the island.

The 23-year-old set off on his 9,000-mile (14,484km) charity challenge from his home town of Margate in Kent two years ago, and had already covered the south coast of England, Wales, the Isle of Man and the south west of Scotland before boarding the ferry to Belfast in July 2015.

Just over halfway through his fund raising exploits for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), he will now sail back to Stranraer before traversing the rest of the Scottish coastline and the eastern side of England down to London.

Mr Ellis-Roswell, who sold all his possessions to fund the longest of long walks, hopes to arrive back in Margate some time in 2018.

"The generosity in Ireland has been amazing," he said.

"We've raised loads of money for the RNLI lifeboats - we've raised £23,500 so far.

"Ireland has been amazing and I am really thankful for the all the support I have received around Ireland."

He felt compelled to undertake the challenge after experiencing a tough year in 2013 when his father died.

"After that I just tried to do something positive and clear my head and I just got the notion to start walking," he said.

"I have always been on the water in one way or another since day one. Either kayaking or swimming or boats, I have always been around the coast, so the RNLI had always been a charity I've been aware of and I've been aware of how important the RNLI is."

Along the journey people have offered him food and places to stay but often he has slept out in the elements. After one particularly cold night sleeping in a church doorway in South Wales in January 2015 he woke up with ice in his beard.

The inclement conditions, combined with the huge number of miles he has clocked up, have also taken their toll on his feet.

"I am on my sixth pair of shoes now," he said.

RNLI community fundraising manager Nicola Kelly said: "We do get a lot of wonderful people doing all sorts of incredible things to raise funds and awareness for the work of the RNLI in Ireland.

"This was certainly one of the most arduous and demanding fundraising feats for the charity."

For more information on the challenge or to donate visit https://www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/longwalkround

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph