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Bill’s bid to beat cancer reaches halfway point

Bill Honeywell, Wallow summit no 271
Bill Honeywell, Wallow summit no 271

[A] CLITHEROE cancer survivor is aiming to raise £25,000 for Cancer Research UK this year by scaling the Lake District’s 542 hills and mountains, and this week Bill Honeywell, a well known fundraiser in the Ribble Valley, reached TWO big milestones.

On Monday, almost halfway through the year, he visited summit no 271 – Wallow Crag, above Haweswater, the halfway point of his Big Challenge.

At the same time the total amount donated or pledged has now reached £25,000 – his original target, although Bill says there is no upper limit on how much he would like to raise!

So far this year Bill has ploughed through knee-deep rivers,  waist-deep snow and shoulder high bracken; he’s walked over 350 miles and climbed over 100,000 feet (over three times the height of Mount Everest). Mountains climbed include Skiddaw and Helvellyn, both over 3,000’, as well as smaller summits, some of which he describes as a ‘navigational challenge’.

Bill’s previous fundraising ventures have included cycling 4,500 miles around the entire coast of Great Britain and climbing all 214 ‘Wainwright’ summits in the Lake District in only 55 days. This time supporters pledge 10 pence per summit, which over the whole year of the Challenge amounts to a little over £1 per week. He’s been overwhelmed by the amount of support, including donations from the general public, local businesses, and fellow walkers who find the card he leaves at each summit.

The Challenge website, at www.542in2016.org.uk is becoming ever more popular as Bill adds an account of each day’s walk together with some stunning photographs of the scenery he passes through.

As for the second half of the year, Bill said: “All I have to do is another 270 summits, including Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England.

“I’m really grateful for all the support I’ve received, not just sponsorship but offers of accommodation whilst I’m in the Lakes, and the number of total strangers who’ve joined in the project. It’s been so heartwarming.”

Cancer Research UK East Lancashire Local Fundraising Manager, Leah Mitchell, said: “Cancer Research UK receives no Government funding and relies entirely on the generosity and dedication of individuals like Bill.

“Every step we take towards beating cancer relies on every hour of research, every pound donated and every person who gets involved, so please support Bill in his fundraising venture.”

Every day around 110 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West.

Last year, Cancer Research UK spent over £21 million in the North West on research which is helping more men, women and children to survive the disease.

Cancer survival rates have doubled since the 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress. Thanks to advances in research, more people in the North West like Bill are surviving cancer than ever before. But to help even more people survive, Cancer Research UK needs everyone to act.

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