Old schoolmate inspires Hemel Hempstead fundraiser to complete coast-to-coast challenge for charity

A man inspired by an old schoolfriend with Parkinson’s has completed a coast-to-coast challenge to raise £3,198 for charity.

By Olga Norford
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 2:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 3:01 pm

Nick Heath, 61, of Berkhamsted, was inspired to undertake the challenge by former school pal Robert Stubbs, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in October 2017.

Nick, set off on the 200-mile trip from St Bees on the Irish Sea coastline on April 2. He was joined by his old friend, teaching assistant, Robert. However, Robert tested positive for Covid on April 16 and chose to take a more direct route to get to the North Sea.

Spurred on by his friend, Nick walked to Robin Hood’s Bay on the shores of the North Sea alone, reaching the finish point on April 18.

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Nick Heath completed the coast-to-coast challenge to raise money for Parkinson’s UK

Nick said: “I am so pleased to have completed the wonderful challenge of the Coast to Coast Walk alongside my old schoolmate Rob, who had his Parkinson’s diagnosis around five years ago. Even though COVID-19 changed our plans, I am delighted that both of us were able to reach the finish line on the Yorkshire coast.

Nick’s passion for trekking, Nordic walking and being outdoors has led him to take on ambitious endurance events and take on some wonderful journeys on foot around the UK and overseas.

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He added: “Parkinson’s UK is one of the charities that I supported last summer during my solo LETJOG walk from Land’s End To John O’Groats. They continue to work on finding a cure for this devastating condition whilst providing support and raising awareness. I would like to thank everyone who has donated to this cause.”

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, and currently there is no cure. It affects around 145,000 people in the UK, including 13,701 in the East of England. There are over 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. Nick’s friend Robert currently experiences tremors, aches in his right arm and insomnia.

Ann Rowe, Head of Regional Fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, said: “We are so grateful to Nick for taking on this incredible challenge to raise money for Parkinson’s UK.

“Parkinson’s can devastate lives. Fundraisers like Nick help us to drive forward the groundbreaking research we need to transform the lives of people affected by the condition.”

To sponsor Nick, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/robert-stubbs2