First step of epic 10 month trek

jpse-08-02-13-007
jpse-08-02-13-007

An adventurer aims to fulfil a childhood ambition by completing a walk around Britain’s coastline in aid of charity.

Freelance graphic designer Tom Brabham plans to complete the trek for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance within 10 months, aiming to return to his Hailsham home in time for Christmas.

The 22-year-old had already raised £600 before taking a single step on the 7,000 journey around the most picturesque places in the UK.

He waved goodbye to his girlfriend, family and friends has he took the first steps on the once in a life time journey on Tuesday, February 5.

He started his epic journey from Eastbourne Pier just a week after his birthday.

The former Hailsham Community College pupil has been inspired by a book called Turn Right at Land’s End by John Merrill - the first man to successfully achieve the feat in 1978.

He said: “I’m looking forward to it, I used to talk about it with my mates at school but now it’s only really me who’s carried on doing it.

“I’m really nervous at the moment, not about the walk, but leaving my girlfriend and family behind.

“I’m not looking forward to actually leaving because I’m leaving my girlfriend, family and friends behind, but once I’m out there I think I’ll be OK.

“I’m really looking forward to the Highlands in Scotland because I’ve never been there before because it’s so remote, it will be the only area that I’ll feel completely out of the way.”

Mr Brabham is aiming to raise £3,000 for the Air Ambulance.

The keen motorcyclist chose the charity because he felt that he may need the service one day.

He said: “I picked the air ambulance because I’m a biker and my mum rides horses and those two activities are the main two which are used by the service.

“Also my mum knows a few people who have had to use it; lucky we haven’t to use it yet but if we are ever in trouble it would be them who came to scoop us up.”

The former chef quit his job in December to concentrate on training for the trip.

He has carried out long walks on the South Downs, and prepared himself for the long nights by camping in the national park.

He said: “I’ve not done as much training, but I’ll just have to see how it goes, but I do feel ready for the challenge.”

To sponsor Mr Brabham go to www.shoelace-express.co.uk and www.facebook.com/shoelaceexpress.

The air ambulance relies on donations and needs £5 million each year to keep the life-saving helicopters in the skies.