RNLI fundraiser’s 9,500 mile walk brings him to Girvan RNLI Lifeboat Station

Lifeboats News Release

Alex Ellis-Roswell’s mammoth trek in aid of the RNLI visits Girvan RNLI Lifeboat Station.

It may have been just another day for most of us, but 8 September found Alex Ellis-Roswell Thursday start day 768 on his quest to walk 9,500 miles around the UK coastline fundraising for the RNLI.

Thursday found Alex in South Ayrshire and heading north to Girvan RNLI Lifeboat Station. On arrival at the lifeboat station just after 7pm, Alex was greeted by some members of the crew where he had a chance to have a chat and get warmed up and refreshed. 

He was then whisked away for his dinner which had kindly been donated by Simon and the staff at Flynn’s boatyard - Girvan RNLI is very grateful for their continued support. Some of the crew spent most of the evening with Alex, listening to tales and details of his journey so far.

Alex said: 'I’m not one for breaking records or being the fastest or anything like that, but I have met some wonderful people and amazing volunteer crews along the way, and I love the ‘craic’ at each place I visit.' He then retired to the Westcliffe Hotel for a good night’s rest.

Day 769 started with meeting some more of the crew at the station, with the added bonus of a newspaper photographer popping into the station at lunchtime, before Alex said: 'I'll be back soon, I'm just off out to collect some donations' - proving there’s no end to his dedication to fundraising.

Alex left Girvan early afternoon, with his sights set on Ayr, with plans for visiting Troon RNLI Lifeboat Station on Saturday 10 September. However, with the rain battering down and a 50mph plus westerly wind straight off the sea beating him back, slow progress was made during the course of the day.

When the crew found out that his planned accommodation in Ayr had fallen through, and with a good 15 miles ahead of him in worsening conditions, a quick bash of heads, a few phone calls later and Alex was soon whisked up and on his way back to Girvan for the night, to which we have to thank Sandra Horne from the Southfield Hotel also for her continued support and for kindly donating a room for Alex for the night.

The plans for Saturday 10 September (day 770) are still as before with arrival at Troon RNLI Lifeboat Station at some point late afternoon/evening.

Alex first started his journey on 3 August 2014 with an aim to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI, on what he anticipates will be a four-year project. With some estimated 20 million footsteps, the walk will see him pass through 64 counties and 8 national parks, visiting every lifeboat station along the way. Alex said whilst looking at station locations with the crew that 'covering the coastline and islands of Scotland during the winter will be one of the toughest things I have ever done.'

The 23-year old from Margate in Kent has, so far, walked 4,500 miles and raised more than £24,000 for the RNLI - smashing his initial target of £10,000. His route sees him go clockwise around Britain and Ireland and he has just finished walking the 2,500 mile coastline of Ireland.

After the passing of his father, Sir Raymond Ellis, at Christmas in 2013, Alex decided to walk the entire coast of Great Britain. He sold his business, gave up his flat and somewhat comfortable lifestyle, and set off on the journey of a lifetime. Before ill health, his father had spent much of his life dedicated to charity work and fundraising, which spurred Alex on to set himself a goal of raising £10,000 for the RNLI.

‘My dad’s ultimate stubbornness against what seemed to be a never ending cycle of illness, pain, operations and setbacks will always be a very personal inspiration to me’, said Alex.

Throughout his journey, Alex is fortunate enough to experience generous hospitality and help from a number of RNLI supporters and crews, many providing him with food, drinks and sometimes a bed for the night, to which he is as grateful to them as the RNLI is to him. Without people like Alex and the thousands of supporters and fundraisers up and down the country, the RNLI could not do what it does; save lives at sea.

The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland and relies entirely on volunteers and donations to save an average of 23 lives per day. Its volunteers often get called heroes, however the real heroes are the people like Alex and the many other donors and fundraisers who continue to go to extremes to allow te volunteer crew members go out to sea in all weathers, be safe and save lives.

If you see Alex on your travels, with his recognisable yellow jacket, bulging backpack and RNLI collection tin, please give him your support, encouragement and even a donation. After all every little helps provide that little mental kick in the backside that makes it all worthwhile for him.

You can follow Alex’s journey around the UK by visiting his facebook page www.facebook.com/alexellisroswellor donate by visiting https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/longwalkroundor donate by visiting https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/longwalkround

RNLI media contacts

Craig Sommerville, Girvan Lifeboat Press Officer, 01465 714454, craig_sommerville@rnli.org.uk

Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07771 943026, henry_weaver@rnli.org.uk

Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07786 668903, richard_smith2@rnli.org.uk

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789RNLI online

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.