Having made plans to walk St Cuthbert's Way, In2Out supporter Michael Leighton recognised a great opportunity to raise funds for us.
The 62.5 miles route starts at Melrose Abbey in the Scottish Borders and finishes on Holy Island in Northumberland. Michael and his companion set out on the 8th September aiming to walk around 15 miles a day, taking around 8 hours, in order to complete the route in 4 days.
"The ever- changing scenery of woods, rivers and hills gave us a sense of wonder and delight of what a beautiful place we had the blessing to be able to walk in."
Whilst the scenery was easy on the eye, the walking was not so easy on the back and hips, especially as the route crosses the Eildon Hills and the Cheviots. But Michael kept upbeat: "The discomfort of the last couple of hours each day was made up for by the wonderful company along the way of fellow walkers." Sheer determination kept Michael and his companion going, inspired by a fellow walker who had terrible blisters right from the start but who also managed to complete the journey.
On Friday 11th September Michael completed his walk with the high point of "... seeing Holy Island... and crossing the sands."
It was a presentation in a church in Leeds by Mark Screeton, the Executive Director which introduced Michael to In2Out. "I thought, this is a charity that I have to support by giving a monthly standing order. Since then I have become more aware of the challenges the lads face in custody and when they are released. The difficult lives the lads have led and the experience of imprisonment has led me to wanting to help In2Out. I thank everyone who cheered us on and supported me on this walk.The total donations are now over the £1,000 that I hoped to raise."
St Cuthbert is considered the patron saint of Northumberland and his name means 'brilliant'.