Police family on the road for charity

An Okehampton officer and his two brothers will be heading straight for success with a 230-mile charity walk next month.

Neighbourhood beat manager Matt Evans will be treking the Fosse Way Roman Road with his brother Steve, a police fingerprint expert, and Barry, a care home manager, in aid of two charities.

The trio will set off from Lincoln on 13 May and aim to average more than 20 miles a day to reach Exeter on 22 May.

They are making the journey to raise money for the British Limbless Ex Service Men’s Association (BLESMA) and the Anthony Nolan Trust, which helps people with blood cancer.

The walk will truly be a family affair with the three brothers being accompanied by parents Freda and Barry, an ex-police sergeant from Okehampton, in their campervan as a support vehicle.

Matt, an officer for almost 11 years, came up with the idea after hearing a colleague talk of the Fosse Way - the Roman road which is remarkable for its extremely direct route.

He chose to support BLESMA after spending 10 years in the Royal Artillery and Steve, who works at Force Headquarters in Exeter, suggested the Anthony Nolan Trust having donated platelets to a patient at a London Hospital.

“I wanted to undertake a charity challenge of some kind and walking the Fosse Way was a bit unusual,” said Matt. “As an ex-soldier I am aware of the amazing work done by BLESMA to support limbless veterans, Steve has been involved with the Anthony Nolan Trust and wanted to help them further. We hope to raise as much money as we can for two very worthwhile causes.”

The trio are busy in training for the walk with Matt running half marathons and Steve opting to get fit through long distance walks.

As well as raising cash they will be carrying one of four batons which are taken around the world by volunteers, including service personnel, on behalf of the charity The Baton to maintain public awareness and support for the Armed Forces.

“We are very proud to be taking one of the batons on our walk on the Fosse Way, added Matt. “We are looking forward to the walk – it will be a real challenge and a real family affair, and we hope people will both support us along the way and help us raise money for the chosen charities.”

Anybody who would like to support the trio and make a donation to either charity can visit: www.justgiving.com/teams/fosseway