Norfolk men’s big efforts for Big C highlighted

At 59, retired engineer Peter Walker is not your typical explorer. But in October last year he biked from Brisbane to Perth, through floods and desert, in memory of his wife Linda who died of cancer in 2009.

through floods and desert, in memory of his wife Linda who died of cancer in 2009.

His 6,500-mile adventure across Australia raised �7,000 for Big C – and now his exploits are being recognised by the Norwich-based charity along with those of three other men.

'It was during the floods. The Australian mechanics couldn't believe I was doing it in that weather,' said Mr Walker. 'I got soaking wet every day. For Australia in the summer it was just unheard of. The desert, the Nullarbor Plain they call it, was very different. There's nothing there. It was beautiful.

'It was good for me to come to terms with what had happened to me.'

Mr Walker, of St Catherine's Road, Thorpe St Andrew, is not the only one who has put in the hours in later life for the charity. As part of the Big C Lavender Fund scheme, which gives people the chance to raise money in memory of a loved one who has died of cancer, three other Norfolk men have contributed huge sums.

Bryan Cole, of Park Avenue, Barford; Teddie Round, of Ostend Road, Walcott; and Scott Walker, from Taverham, have all gone above and beyond for the Norfolk and Waveney charity.

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Mr Cole, 74, a retired retail manager for Debenhams, started in 2008 and has raised more than �10,000 in memory of his wife Maureen. He takes part in the Big C Cuppa every year with daughter Rachel, grand-daughter Kate and close friends. He also arranged his own Big C Walk of Thoughts and others.

'It is vital to make people aware of how important it is if you do lose somebody to keep their name alive. One of the things you could do is get involved with a charity; your friends will come with you,' said Mr Cole.

'It has been a real comfort to me. My friends and I are still able to talk about Maureen as if she's still here and I think that is attributed to the charity work we've done.'

Mr Round, 70, a retired brewery supervisor, has raised over �9,000 for the Margaret Rose Round Lavender Fund, opened in 2006 and dedicated to the memory of his late wife.

He sells goods at flea markets, puts collection tins in local businesses and works with a team of friends and family putting on events. His niece Emma Sealey and husband Dean help run an annual fun day at Clacton, raising �1,000 last year.

Mr Round said: 'It's one way of remembering a loved one. It keeps the memory alive and helps local causes. It is a wonderful thing. I don't think any of us are looking for a pat on the back, it's about the Big C and what they do.'

Since Scott Walker, of Taverham, opened his Lavender Fund in 2010 in memory of wife Jayne, he has raised nearly �8,000.

He runs half-marathons supported by friends and family and his friend Kirstie Bird ran the London Marathon, raising �2,000.

To open a Lavender Fund in memory of someone, go to www.big-c.co.uk/lavenderonline

For moreinformation, call 01603 619900 or visit www.big-c.co.uk

joe.wilkes@archant.co.uk

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