Musician raises £5,000 for mini donkeys in 80-mile Norfolk hike
- Credit: Plain Speaking PR
A 79-year-old musician has raised £5,000 for charity after walking 80 miles in eight days in his 80th year in support of the Norfolk-based charity MiniDonks.
Donkeys Bo-Peep and Milly were brought down to Cromer’s promenade to meet intrepid walker Ian Hÿtch upon his arrival, as thrilled onlookers made donations directly to the charity, which brings gentle and friendly miniature donkeys to community groups, voluntary organisations, dementia groups or special needs groups.
“Just before we got the word that Ian was arriving, we reached the £5,000 target on JustGiving, so Ian has done his walk like a Trojan - he’s achieved his aim,” said MiniDonks founder and managing director Sarah McPherson.
“I’m feeling absolutely euphoric, because we’ve hit the target. I was walking along and my wife rang me to say we’d reached the £5,000, which was so exciting,” said Mr Hÿtch, who lives in Norwich.
He added that his walk from Knettishall Heath in Suffolk, up to Hunstanton via the Peddars Way and along the coast to Cromer had been “beautiful, so beautiful".
The walk proved even more challenging than Mr Hÿtch had anticipated.
“I hadn’t realised that there was a sort of cumulative tiredness that [had] crept in on Thursday, Friday, and then of course today, it didn’t matter - I knew it was coming to the end.”
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Mr Hytch said he had seen the donkeys in action in care homes at Wells.
“The look of joy in the eyes of the residents is just something you can’t describe. It’s amazing how much joy they are bringing to these people,” he said.
Mr Hÿtch was joined on his walk by his 24-year-old daughters Kitt and Bethan, and for part of the way by his 18-year-old grandson Moss.
His wife Jan acted as chauffeur, ferrying the walkers to their start point and taking them home every day.
One of his daughters is studying nutrition at university and had been in charge of Mr Hÿtch's menus to ensure he was “well fed up”.
“We’re going mad now - we’re going to go into Cromer to have some fish and chips,” he said.
To find out more or donate to the appeal, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/manymilesforminidonks