Mammoth trek in aid of RNLI

(L to R) Girvan Cox Robert McMaster, Fundraiser Alex Ellis-Roswell, and Harbourmaster Roddy Leitch

(L to R) Girvan Cox Robert McMaster, Fundraiser Alex Ellis-Roswell, and Harbourmaster Roddy Leitch

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It may have been just another day for most of us, however for Alex Ellis-Roswell day Thursday the 8th September and day 768 into his 9,500 mile walk around the UK coast fundraising for the RNLI found Alex in South Ayrshire and heading north to Girvan Lifeboat Station.

On arrival at the lifeboat station just after 7pm, Alex was greeted by some members of the crew where he had a chance to have a chat and get warmed up and refreshed, before he was whisked away for his dinner which had kindly been donated by Simon and the staff at Flynn’s boatyard to which we are very grateful for their continued support. Some of the crew spent most of the evening with Alex, listening to tales and details of his journey so far.

“I’m not one for breaking records or being the fastest or anything like that” he says when asked what’s next “I have met some wonderful people and amazing Crews along the way, and I love the ‘craic’ at each place I visit. He then retired to the Westcliffe hotel for a good night’s rest.

Day 769 started with meeting some more of the crew at the station, with the added bonus of a newspaper photoshoot, popping into the station at lunchtime, I managed a few minutes with Alex before he quipped I’ll be back soon, just off out to collect some donations, there’s just no end to this lads dedication to fundraising.

Alex left Girvan early afternoon, with his sights set on Ayr, with plans for visiting Troon lifeboat on Saturday however with the rain battering down and a 50mph plus westerly wind straight off the sea beating him back, slow progress was made during the course of the day.

When the crew found out that his planned accommodation in Ayr had fallen through and still a good 15miles ahead of him in worsening conditions, a quick bash of heads, a few phone calls later and Alex was soon whisked up and on his way back to Girvan for the night, to which we have to thank Sandra Horne from the Southfield Hotel also for her continued support and for kindly donating a room for Alex for the night.

The plans for Saturday10th September (day 770) are still as before with arrival at Troon Lifeboat station at some point, late afternoon/evening.

Alex first started his journey on 3rd August 2014 with an aim to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI, on what he anticipates will be a 4 year project, and some 20 million footsteps, the walk will see him pass through 64 counties and 8 national parks, visiting every lifeboat station along the way and Alex said whilst looking at station locations with the crew that “covering the coastline and islands of Scotland during the winter will be one of the toughest things he has ever done”

The 23-year old from Margate in Kent So far, has walked 4,500 miles and raised over £24,000 for the RNLI - smashing his initial target of £10,000 His route sees him go clockwise around Britain and Ireland and has just finished walking the 2500 mile coastline of Ireland.

After the passing of his father, Sir Raymond Ellis, at Christmas in 2013, Alex decided to walk the entire coast of Great Britain, he sold his business, gave up his flat and somewhat comfortable lifestyle, and set off on the journey of a lifetime. Before ill health, his father had spent much of his life dedicated to charity work and fundraising, which spurred Alex on to set himself a goal of raising £10,000 for the RNLI.

‘My dad’s ultimate stubbornness against what seemed to be a never ending cycle of illness, pain, operations and setbacks will always be a very personal inspiration to me’, said Alex.

Throughout his journey, Alex is fortunate enough to experience generous hospitality and help from a number of RNLI supporters and crews, many providing him with food, drinks and sometimes a bed for the night, to which I am sure he is as grateful to them as we are to him, for without people like Alex and the thousands of supporters and fundraisers up and down the country, we could not do what we do, save lives at sea.

The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland and rely entirely on volunteers and donations to save an average of 23 lives per day, we often get called hero’s however the real heroes are the people like Alex and the many other donators and fundraisers who continue to go to extremes to allow us to go out to sea in all weathers, be safe and save lives.

If you see Alex on your travels, with his recognisable yellow jacket, bulging backpack and RNLI collection tin, please give him your support, encouragement and even a donation, after all every little helps provide that little mental kick in the backside that makes it all worthwhile for him.

You can follow Alex’s journey around the UK by visiting his facebook page www.facebook.com/alexellisroswell or donate by visiting https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/longwalkround