Retired South Yorkshire firefighter to walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End

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A retired South Yorkshire firefighter plans to put his best foot forward for charity - by walking from Lands End to John O’Groats.

Gary Williamson has volunteered to complete the gruelling 1,100 journey to raise money for The Fire Fighters Charity and Cancer Research.

The 58-year-old is planning to walk route in four stages, setting off on Friday, March 20.

He hopes to raise £10,000, which will be split equally between the two charities.

Gary, who was a firefighter for over 30 years, started his career in Hertfordshire before moving to North Yorkshire and finally joining South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue in 1997.

He worked at Elm Lane, Central, Tankersley and Lowedges fire stations before retiring in 2009.

To publicise the walk and to help with his fund raising efforts, a charity auction has been organised, where people can bid on boxes, not knowing the contents.

The prizes for the event, to be held at the Beauchief Hotel on Friday, March 13, include meals and vouchers.

Gary said: “My hope is that by giving up my time, I can encourage others to consider these two important charities and make a contribution to assist the dedicated individuals working on behalf of us all.”

Station manager Stewart Nicholson, of South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, said: “We are grateful that Gary has decided to take on this huge task even though he has been retired for six years, it just goes to show that he is still part of the fire service community.”

To book tickets for the auction call 0114 2355100.