RECENTLY-RETIRED police officer John Le Couteur is preparing to walk in the footsteps of the Romans.

He will be walking 84 miles along Hadrian’s Wall in aid of breast cancer support group the Pink Ladies.

‘I thought that rather than going for the usual drink and buying a round when you retire from a job, I would give the money to a local charity.

‘I was planning a holiday anyway and it was an opportunity to make some money for a local cause,’ he said.

Mr Le Couteur, who spent 23 years in the force and was crime prevention officer, will have the company of various members of his family during the different stages of the walk. They are hiring a cottage roughly halfway along the route. The journey will start at the western end, in Bowness-on-Solway, on 27 March and will take him through small villages, the wooded Tyne valley and the crests of Northumberland National Park. It will end in Newcastle.

‘I have been walking a bit every day in training and I am not envisaging any problems completing it. I am planning to do 17 miles each day for five days, but I have got an extra day in case of any inclement weather,’ he said.

‘I am getting quite excited now; it should be a nice holiday and an interesting time — there is a lot of history to see.’

Last year was the first time the National Trail opened the entire length of the wall to walkers.

Mr Le Couteur has already collected £1,000 from his former work colleagues and was given a company donation by Healthspan managing director Derek Coates. Former colleague Linda Falla is involved in the charity and suggested that he sup port it.

‘We are very pleased to have been chosen, because — like any charity — it is difficult to keep raising money, especially in Guernsey, where there are so many great causes,’ she said.

The group provides emotional and practical support and advice to women who suffer from breast cancer.

The money raised by Mr Le Couteur will go towards helping to fund ladies diagnosed with recurrences to travel to the UK to attend ‘The Haven’, a centre of excellence in breast cancer care that specialises in complementary and alternative breast cancer therapy.

Anyone interested in sponsoring the walk can make a donation in the collection boxes at the police station reception or at Healthspan by the Town Church.

People wanting to make further offers to the charity can contact Linda Falla on 264999, or send a cheque to her, made payable to Pink Ladies, at L’Etacq, be Petit Bas Courtil, St. Saviour’s, GY7 9YH.

 A helpline for the Pink Ladies is 07781 415131 or e-mail Pinkladies@cwgsy.net

(Reproduced courtesy Guernsey Press and Star)
Article dated 03 March 2004

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