Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

The start of the 2012 sponsored walk with local MP Amber Rudd and Mayor Kim Forward

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Sponsored walkers are looking to raise £1,000 for charity by walking about 60 miles from St Leonards-on-Sea to Canterbury in April. The walk is being organised by Ian McNulty, manager of an Abbeyfield South Downs House at St Leonards. Ian leads a team out each year to raise funds to keep a mini-bus on the road for residents, writes HOT’s Chris Cormack.

The goal is that between 15 and 20 people will accompany Ian on his walk this year. Two years ago the Abbeyfield Ramblers, with an average age of 73, raised about £16,000 towards buying a replacement mini-bus by walking 92 miles to St Albans where the Abbeyfield charity has its national headquarters.

Last year they walked about 40 miles from Ridge House to Hove to help cover running costs.  Mr McNulty, a manager at Ridge House, 27 Boscobel Road, for 16 years, said:

“The mini-bus is a life-line for residents, who are aged in their 80s and 90s, helping them to get out and about and stay in the local community which is very important to them.

 “We travelled in it to Westfield village to see the best display of Christmas lights anywhere in Sussex. We also went to a carol concert in Eastbourne where funds were raised for Abbeyfield South Downs,  of which Ridge House is a part.”

Mr McNulty is a member of the Hastings Rambling Club and has recruited friends from there to walk with him.  They will set out in the mini-bus each morning from Ridge House to pick up where their journey finished the previous day. They will walk about ten miles a day for six days and hope to visit other Abbeyfield houses on the route.

The walk will begin on Thursday 18 April, and will finish in Canterbury on Tuesday, 23 April. Abbeyfield South Downs offers support and companionship for older people in its houses across East Sussex at Eastbourne, Heathfield, Hove and St Leonards.

If you would like to support the Abbeyfield Ramblers, by making a donation or joining the walk, please contact Ian McNulty on 01424 439013 or by email on

Posted 10:12 Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 In: Health Matters

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