'I can walk 500 miles' - chairman's Scottish celebrations during charity trek

Cllr Martin Foley and his daughter Nicola are virtually walking and running to Iona in Scotland to raise money for The Stroke Association.

Cllr Martin Foley and his daughter Nicola are virtually walking and running to Iona in Scotland to raise money for The Stroke Association. - Credit: Martin Foley

A dram was raised and the haggis was toasted at Burns Night celebrations marking the final stages of an epic virtual charity walk to Scotland.

Cllr Martin Foley, chair of Uttlesford District Council, has now reached the west end of Glasgow on his 500 mile virtual walk to Iona on behalf of The Stroke Association.

The actual walk is taking place locally on the highways and byways around Uttlesford due to the pandemic travel restrictions - and by the time this paper goes to print Martin should have passed the 400-mile mark.

In recognition of reaching Scotland, he took part in a virtual Burns Night and celebrated with friends and family using social media and video conferencing.

His daughter and chairman's consort Nicola, is also completing the 500 miles, but is actually running the distance. She has just passed the half-way mark as she started a few weeks later.

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Martin wanted to thank our readers for their generosity in raising almost £3,000 so far, and said in hindsight it might have been a better idea to walk in the summer.

He said: "The weather in this area over the weekend was actually similar to that in Scotland with freezing temperatures and intermittent snow but with the majority of miles now under my kilt, I'm striding on to complete the final 100 miles."

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Martin’s wife Claire Foley is a stroke survivor on her own journey of recovery which is a tremendous challenge.

Martin added: "When stroke strikes, part of your brain shuts down, and so does a part of you. That's because a stroke happens in the brain, the control centre for who we are and what we can do. It happens every five minutes in the UK and changes lives instantly.

"The Stroke Association is here to support people to rebuild their lives after stroke. They believe everyone deserves to live the best life they can after stroke. And it's a team effort to get there.

"Their specialist support, research and campaigning are only possible with the courage and determination of the stroke community and the generosity of amazing people like your readers."

You can donate by going to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cllr-martin-foley-udc

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