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50 Miles their way!

Fundraiser Dave Coots celebrates finishing his 50 mile challenge.

Published on 04 June 2024 10:34 AM

Fundraisers around the city have been walking, skipping, hopping, running and jogging their way to 50 miles to celebrate National Walking Month.

Supporters, fundraisers, volunteers and staff joined Age UK Plymouth’s 50 Miles in May Challenge, raising vital funds to support those over 50 and individuals living with dementia in Plymouth. The fantastic participants all shared the same goal to complete 50 miles throughout the month, and the journey has been nothing short of fantastic!

Amongst the tremendous trekkers, Age UK Plymouth volunteer Dave quickly became the star of the event. Whilst he was in the office for his weekly volunteering, Dave kept everyone updated with pictures of his progress from the heights of the Tamar Bridge to the beautiful views of the Saltash Docks.

We managed to catch up with Dave just before he finished his 50 miles and asked him about his experience:

What was your most memorable moment?

“The most memorable moment to me was meeting all kinds of people around Plymouth and the surrounding areas who were cheering me on and knew of Age UK Plymouth and wanted to support. I was delighted that my biggest donation was for £50!”

What was your biggest challenge?

“My biggest challenge was waking up and sometimes getting the feeling that I do not want to carry on anymore. I kept telling myself that I had to keep going and I was going to be so pleased once I did it. I remembered why I had started it in the first place!”

Why is it important for people like yourself to support Age UK Plymouth?

“One day, you never know you might need to access the services that Age UK Plymouth deliver. I feel it is incredibly important to give back to our local community.”

Dave’s commitment and enthusiasm has made such an impact that a fantastic illustration by artist Rob Bullen has been created to highlight his 50 Miles in May challenge.

We also spoke to another inspirational walker, Brian, a dedicated member of the Age UK Plymouth team based at the Dementia Day centre, who said:

 “I wanted to do this in memory of all the clients I have looked after in my nine years with the charity, for me it’s not a job but an amazing life experience. I celebrated my 66th birthday on the 29th, so this was my best birthday present…

I love my job and I love working with the clients, this seemed like something I could do to raise valuable funds and help raise awareness of the work Age UK Plymouth do.”

Tara Dale, Head of Fundraising: “We have absolutely loved seeing how our fundraisers have embraced 50 miles their way. We all have our own personal Everest’s and whether it’s 50 miles in 24 hours or just a few feet at a time, our supporters and fundraisers have made this challenge their own.

“To everyone who kindly sponsored our walkers, we are beyond grateful for the donations and encouragement we have received. Your thoughtful contributions enable us to continue our valuable and important work, making a positive impact on our local community.”

Creating opportunities for people to participate in fundraising activities at their own pace and in their own way is a reoccurring theme for the Plymouth based charity, who have today launched their second Accessible Half Marathon, taking place on Sunday 29th September.

Walkers prepare to set off on their Half Marathon walk

The route, which takes in stunning views across Dartmoor and the South Hams leads participants out of Plymouth heading north through Plymbridge Woods crossing several viaduct bridges and gently climbing 1,780ft over 6 ½ miles towards Clearbrook Village Hall. Fundraisers, who can choose whether to walk, jog or run the route can stop for refreshments and a short rest at the half way point, manned by volunteers before headed back towards Plymouth.

The stunning walk follows a former Great Western Railway track, the trail is relatively flat and peppered with breath taking feats of Victorian engineering including Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s 300 yard Leighbeer Tunnel, carved from solid rock. Immersed in the woodland and wildlife, participants also pass the home of National Trust Plymbridge Woods’ Peregrine Falcon conversation project.

Walkers of all ages took part in the event in 2023 raising funds to support overs 50s, those living with dementia and their carers.

Last years’ event saw walkers aged from 12 to 72 taking on the course raising awareness of the charity’s work and bringing in vital donations, every penny of which remains in the city supporting the community.

Supporters will receive a branded hiking top and finishers medal for raising a minimum of £50 to support over 50s, those living with dementia and their carers through the work of Age UK Plymouth, a mainstay of the community for over 80 years. Find out more about entering, and snap up a discounted early bird ticket by heading to today.

For more information about any of the work of Age UK Plymouth, please visit To find out more about working in partnership with Age UK Plymouth or to talk about how your group or organisation can work with or support the charity please email

Early bird tickets available now!