Berwick man completes five-day walk in aid of good cause
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Mary’s Meals community volunteer James Bruce has completed a five-day walk from his home town to St Andrews – a distance of more than 100 miles.
As well as providing him with a testing challenge, the town in Fife is well-known to the 48-year-old as he studied medieval history at the famous university. In 2019, he agreed to take on the role of chairman of Berwick History Society.
James’ grand total at the end of the challenge was £850. He also presented a Mary’s Meals apron to the Canmore Chaplaincy for University Catholics at St Andrews.
He covered about 80 per cent of the route on foot, as he needed transport help in the Edinburgh area where there were no obvious walking routes.
James said: “Overall, it was an enjoyable experience and I met some lovely people along the way.
“I just had an Army sleeping bag as I found on a previous long-distance walk that carrying a tent was too heavy, so I had to improvise for the night-time – it was a combination of bus shelters, a hostel and a shelter at the back of a bingo hall used by smokers during opening hours that was surprisingly comfortable.
“There was a bit of rain on the first and penultimate days, but the weather was mostly good and the temperatures were not very cold.
“The final section of the walk from Markinch to St Andrews was along a specific path that is part of a pilgrim way and this provided some very nice scenery.
“I felt quite relieved when I reached St Andrews – but pleased that I will feel the benefits physically, as well as raising funds for and awareness of Mary’s Meals.
“I hope this may encourage people to do their own walk, even if it is just for the one day rather than five, for their own enjoyment and also for a pilgrimage if they want to give it an extra aspect.
“There are plenty of great places to walk to in north Northumberland and the Scottish Borders, the most obvious being Holy Island.”
For more information about – and to make a donation to – Mary’s Meals, go to www.marysmeals.org.uk