Pair ready for 200-mile trek to raise money for disabled school

Left to right: Shane Lutkin Kristen Mitchell, Neil Mitchell. Picture: Submitted

Left to right: Shane Lutkin Kristen Mitchell, Neil Mitchell. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Two Norwich men are preparing themselves for the extreme task of walking 40 miles for five days in a row to raise money for those who may never be able to walk.

The pair have a blog which is being updated throughout their trainning at 40milesaday.blog. Picture:

The pair have a blog which is being updated throughout their trainning at 40milesaday.blog. Picture: 40milesaday.blog - Credit: 40milesaday.blog

Neil Mitchell, 44, and Shane Lutkin, 60, are walking Wainwright's Coast to Coast trail in June.

The 200-mile trip, across the Lake District and north of England, would normally take two weeks to complete but the pair will be attempting the walk in just five days.

The challenge is to raise funds for Care for Clare, a charity at complex needs school the Clare School on South Park Avenue, which is raising money for a new hydrotherapy pool.

Mr Mitchell's nine-year-old daughter, Kristen, has hypotonic cerebral palsy and attends the school.

Kristen and other pupils with disabilities are able to enjoy weightlessness movement in water but the pool they currently use is too cold and not built for specialist disabled use.

Structural engineer Mr Mitchell said: 'She will always be in a wheelchair, she will probably never be able to communicate properly with us but what she does get great enjoyment from is being in a swimming pool.

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'Because it's cold, she gets thermal shock as she can't regulate her body temperature. I go in the pool with her and she can swim around, she is so happy it's just absolutely mind-blowing.

'The affects of a hydro pool on the children and their wellbeing, being able to move freely, is just unbelievable.'

To prepare for the walk the pair have been walking long distances, having recently returned from walking more than 32 miles around Shropshire in one day.

Mr Lutkin is a seasoned walker and runner, having completed the walk three times, as well as two marathons and 140 half marathons. But the psychotherapist said: 'We're a bit anxious, I've only done 40 miles in a day once but not back-to-back. You have to be psychologically strong, you have to keep grinding away.

'You take it for granted, that you can just go for a walk, but children at the school can't do that. If we can free them to do an activity that gives them pleasure that's amazing.'

The friends aim to raise £25,000. The target for the pool is £500,000 with £140,000 already raised.

To donate click here.

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