RNLI marathon walker strides in to Mayo within sight of his €25k fundraising target

Alex Ellis-Roswell  with members of the Ballyglass Lifeboat team when he stopped off during his mammoth walk around Ireland and the UK raising money for the RNLI.

Alex Ellis-Roswell with members of the Ballyglass Lifeboat team when he stopped off during his mammoth walk around Ireland and the UK raising money for the RNLI.

A young man recently walked into Mayo without any fanfare but with the sole aim to continue his marathon walk to raise funds for the RNLI; a charity close to his heart. The 23-year-old Kent native is well on his way to smashing a £20,000 fundraising target which will see vital funds raised for the lifeboats. When he set out 649 days ago Alex Ellis-Roswell planned to walk along the British coastline only but he changed his mind and boarded a ferry to Belfast last year to add the beautiful Irish coastline on to his journey. When he finishes he will have walked the entire length of the Irish and UK coastlines.

He has had many adventures along the way with strangers opening their doors to him and providing food and company for him along the way. Their kindness has seen him almost reach his target of £20,000 which he now plans to exceed. The weather had not been kind to Alex and he has pitched his tent in some stunning but remote places with the wind and the rain beating down on him. He has also battled with the toll the epic walk has taken on both his knees.

He started his walk in Ireland at Belfast last year and came down along the east coast before rounding the southern coastline and trekking along the Cork and Kerry peninsulas, clocking up hundreds of kilometres. He has now crossed the border into Mayo and the sun has come out to match the hospitality of the locals to make it a special stop on his journey. Two important places for him to call in to visit have been the Achill and Ballyglass RNLI lifeboat stations, where he was made feel very welcome.

Commenting on the incredible fundraising initiative when Alex stopped by to visit the lifeboat crew and fundraisers with Ballyglass RNLI, Agatha Hunt the station’s Volunteer Lifeboat press officer said, "We were honoured to welcome Alex to our door and to hear about his adventures so far. It is incredible to think that a young man from across the water would do this for a charity which is very close to all of us here. Every lifeboat station and volunteer shares a common goal to save lives and help those in difficulty but it is very touching to see someone so young doing this to help in our work. I know his father, who also had great affection, for the RNLI would have been very proud of him."

Huge thanks are also due to the Broadhaven Bay Hotel, Léim Siar B&B Blacksod, Western Strand Hotel and the Kilcummin Lodge B&B which supported Alex in his walk by providing accommodation for him during his visit. If people wish donate to Alex through his online fundraising page they can do so by visiting www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/longwalkround Alex is also cataloguing his journey on social media and can be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/alexellisroswell or on Twitter @ELLISROSWELL.

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