Former High Sheriff more than halfway along fundraising European walk for unpaid carers
PUBLISHED: 15:44 11 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:17 11 June 2018
He set out from rural Norfolk with the aim of raising £60,000 to support unpaid carers.
And after completing more than 900 miles of his 1,500-mile trek to Santiago de Compostela on Spain’s west coast he has raised over half of his target.
Former High Sheriff of Norfolk, James Bagge, set off on his Walking4Norfolk challenge from his Stradsett home on March 29.
He has now walked over 1,000 miles in sixty days and has just past Logroño in Spain, part of famous Camino de Santiago trail.
Mr Bagge will donate the money he raises during his challenge to various carers’ groups, given out by the Norfolk Community Foundation (NCF).
He said: “I am now meeting lots of pilgrims from all over the world.
“It has been a lonely walk for the past four weeks but I have been very much motivated by wonderful messages of support and increasing awareness of challenges facing the unpaid carers.
“They [unpaid carers] are special people making a huge contribution saving the taxpayer £135bn a year and deserving of greater recognition.
“Many of these carers go about their roles with little support for themselves and so I have been inspired to raise awareness of the invaluable role they play.”
Mr Bagge, 65, who focused on Norfolk volunteers for his year as High Sheriff, thinks he will finish his walk in four weeks time.
The challenge has also coincided with national Carers Week which runs until June 17.
Unpaid carers can be any age and can vary from a young child looking after their parent who has mental health problems to an elderly person looking after their partner who has a lifelong debilitating condition.
Unpaid carers in Norfolk annually save local authorities and the NHS £500m a year
Mr Bagge said the most challenging aspect of his walk was tough terrain.
Another challenge was “making sure that large dogs protective of their property don’t follow me down the road”.
He added his highlight so far was crossing the Pyrenees, between France and Spain.
To donate visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/walking4norfolk.
To follow Mr Bagge’s progress visit https://walking4norfolk.com or follow Walking4Norfolk on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.