Leeds dad, 60, treks 650 miles to raise £2.5k for heroes

Dave Smith

Dave Smith

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A retired Leeds dad has lost two stone in weight after spending three months trekking 630 miles around the south coast of England.

Father-of-three Dave Smith, who lives in Roundhay, carried essentials around in a rucksack and slept outside under a small tarpaulin during the challenge which has so far raised over £2,500 for the Help for Heroes charity.

The former HR manager, 60, was welcomed home by family on Thursday having gone back to basics since early August during the solo trek along the South West Coastal Path from Minehead to Poole.

He said the three month challenge saw him ascend around 115,000ft, which is almost four-times the height of Mount Everest, helping him lose two stone. And he even regained his sense of smell during the trek, after losing it four years earlier.

He told the YEP: “For an unfit 60-year-old whose doctor has told him ‘you shouldn’t be doing it’, it was a bit of a story. My backpack was 23kgs to start with and I got it down to 15kg because after the first few days I wasn’t sure I could make it. I thought it was going to kill me the bag was that heavy.”

The challenge was a year in the planning following a family holiday in Cornwall.

He said: “I wanted to raise some money for Help for Heroes because going back to the Falklands War, seeing kids going back badly wounded, it’s heartbreaking.It was an easy one to choose, particularly with seeing people coming back in a state from Afghanistan more recently.”

Dave published a regular online blog, posted pictures and had visits from family during the trek and has now set his sights on doing the El Camino De Santiago trek from France to northern Spain next year.

For information or to donate visit www.bmycharity.com/bladegoeswest.