Beth puts her best foot forward to walk around Britain for the RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Beth Wickes has set herself a mammoth challenge to walk around the coast of the Britain to raise funds for the RNLI. Setting off on 3 October 2018 from Tower lifeboat station on the Thames, Beth has completed around 730 miles of her journey, arriving in Salcombe on Wednesday 30 January where she was

RNLI/Salcombe

Beth Wickes with Sam Viles and Chris Winzar from Salcombe RNLI

greeted by RNLI Coxswain Chris Winzar.

After finishing university as a mature student, Beth decided to put all her possessions storage and after four months of training set off in October to walk around the coastline of Britain raising money for the RNLI, Lowland Rescue and Mountain Rescue.

With no support team, Beth is relying on the generosity of others to put her up for the night, or finding bed and breakfast accommodation for herself. Aiming to average about twelve miles a day, she hopes to complete her journey in two years.

Beth explains her reason for taking on the life changing experience, she says;

’I found university a pretty stressful experience as I was diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia at the end of my first year. I was a mature student and was tempted to give up on more than one occasion but that’s not me. I knew that if I gave up I would feel worse than actually ploughing on and completing it. If I start something I see it through to the end. After three years I needed a break, a holiday and some time to de-stress, to heal from the three bereavements I have suffered in seven years and to walk. I thought about it long and hard and came up with the idea of walking around the coast of Britain - and what better way to do this than by raising funds for two charities close to my heart: the Association of Lowland Search and Rescue who are all volunteers, including those who run it, and the RNLI. I felt that both they and I would both benefit from the experience.’

Beth arrived in Salcombe on Wednesday morning, and popped into the RNLI lifeboat station where she was greeted by Coxswain Chris Winzar. He says;

‘It was a pleasure to meet Beth and hear about her amazing journey. She was in good spirits and ready to take on the next leg from Salcombe to Bantham. As a charity, we can only provide our volunteer crew with the equipmment and training thanks to the generosity of fundraisers like Beth who are willing to take on challenges like this.’

Despite covering many miles already, Beth is enjoying the physical challenges the route entails. She says;

‘Looking back down a steep hill I have just climbed, which is always tough, but sometimes not as tough as I thought it would be is an amazing feeling. I love not knowing what is round the corner, and discovering hidden, unspoilt little coves with noone on them, it takes my breath away.

One of the hardest challenges is finding accommodation along the route, having to alter routes to ensure that there is somewhere to stay at the end of the day. But I have been blown away by the kindness of people I have never even met before to help find me somewhere.’

Beth can be identified by her distinctive orange vest and supporters can follow her travels on her blog www.bethfootforward.co.uk or via her twitter and Facebook pages where they can find details on how to sponsor her challenge.

Notes to editors

  • Please find attached picture of Beth Wickes with Sam Viles Mechanic (left) and Chris Winzar Coxswain from Salcombe RNLI on the all weather lifeboat

  • RNLI media contacts

  • For more information please telephone Amy Caldwell on 07920818807 or amy_caldwell@rnli.org.uk or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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, in a normal year, 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.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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