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Diss Rotarian raises thousands with walk

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An intrepid fundraiser walked day and night to complete a 72-mile route for charity – smashing his fundraising target in the process.

Phil Catchpole, of Walcot Green in Diss, walked for 24 hours along Boudicca Way – a long distance footpath linking Diss and Norwich, which follows the route Queen Boudicca and her army travelled along on their march south against the Romans 2,000 years ago.

“We had a blast,” said Mr Catchpole afterwards. “There was lots of laughter and general good humour. It was the perfect day for walking.”

Phil Catchpole and Duncan Slater prepare to set off from Diss Market Place. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Phil Catchpole and Duncan Slater prepare to set off from Diss Market Place. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Mr Catchpole, a member of Diss and District Rotary Club, was joined on the challenge by double amputee and Help for Heroes ambassador Duncan Slater, from Scole, with the two men setting off from Diss Market Place on Saturday morning.

Only stopping briefly to eat supper on a bench at Norwich Train Station, the pair made it back to Diss at 8am the following day, when they were greeted by family, friends and fellow rotarians, some of whom had joined them on parts of the route.

The aim of the walk was to raise money for the Boudicca Breast Cancer Appeal, which is seeking to provide a dedicated breast unit at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and for the University of East Anglia to help fund continued research into a test to identify aggressive prostate cancers.

Having had an original target of £2,000, Mr Catchpole saw the total swell to more than £5,000.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and am absolutely delighted that we smashed our target,” he said.

“The support we received has been so generous and uplifting – a huge thank you to everyone.”

Prior to setting off, Mr Catchpole officially handed over his presidential chains to Graham Wuidart, via a pair of forked sticks.

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