31 miles, 70,333 steps and over £2,000 for a great cause

A team of 16 brave souls embarked on an epic journey from Blackpool to Blackburn on Saturday 22nd July to raise money for The East Lancashire Hospice.

The 31-mile trek was organised by Ken Brogden from Oswaldtwistle, who wanted to give something back to the amazing people that cared for his late, beloved wife.

The 54-year-old is a member of The Mall’s security team and his wife, Michelle, was a house-keeping operative at the shopping centre before she was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in October 2015.

Colleagues and friends joined Ken and set off from Houndshill Shopping Centre in Blackpool at 9am and arrived at The Mall Blackburn at 8pm after completing a massive 70,333 steps each.

The oldest member of the team was Howard Gorcott, aged 61 and the youngest was Alexa Page-Masterman , aged nine, who completed a very commendable nine miles. Three of the group were forced to end their journey in Preston due to exhaustion.

Blisters, sores and aching muscles were accompanied by lots of laughs and the money raised was added to funds made at a charity raffle on Sunday, which totalled more than £2000.

Michelle and Ken met in 2004 and they married in Heywood 21 months later. They each have one daughter from previous relationships and shared a love of music and West Highland Terriers. She tragically died at the age of 54 in June 2016.

The date of the fund-raising event was particularly poignant as it would have been Michelle’s 55th birthday as well as the couple’s 11th wedding anniversary.

Ken said: “I will never be able to thank the staff at The East Lancashire Hospice enough for the care they gave Michelle, but organising this event has given me a focus and allowed me to at least give something back.

“I also wanted to mark Michelle’s birthday and our wedding anniversary and what better way that to share it with people who knew and loved her.

“I would like to thank everyone who supported me on this journey, from the people walking with me to the support crew and management at The Mall Blackburn.”

Loraine Jones, General Manager at The Mall Blackburn, added: “The build up to Saturday was exciting and emotional for everyone involved and I would like to say a massive well done to each and every person that took part.

“We were all devastated when Michelle passed away and I know I speak on behalf of the entire team when we say we are very proud Ken.”

Ken’s justgiving page is still open for sponsorship. To donate please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/littlebroggy1