Former Surrey firefighter's wintry walk for East Surrey Hospital's maternity unit (From Redhill And Reigate Life)
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Former Surrey firefighter's wintry walk for East Surrey Hospital's maternity unit
1:47pm Wednesday 6th February 2013 in News
Keen walker Bill Howkins was due to step out on a wintry five-day walk across the picturesque South Downs this week to raise money for a cause close to his heart.
For Bill, 59, is the fire safety advisor to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill, and he will be raising money every step of the way along his 80-mile trek for the hospital's maternity unit.
Bill was due to set out on his walk at Littlehampton today (Wednesday, February 6), bound for Salisbury.
The former Surrey firefighter is a keen walker and has been putting in plenty of miles of practice at the weekends.
He also decided to pick one of the wettest, coldest months of the year for his fundraising effort, saying: “I wanted to do it when it was a challenge. “Come hell or high water I will finish it, and I should be alright unless it is really snowy.”
Bill added his biggest challenge may not be blisters, saying: “It’s not the feet I am worried about but the hips. “But as I am staying in B&Bs along the route, I won’t have to carry lots of equipment.”
Bill, who now lives in Pulborough, is planning to use an App so that people can track his progress. He said: “I love the outdoors and it will be great if I can do something to help the hospital at the same time. “There is a baby born at East Surrey every two hours. That’s an eye-watering 4,500 a year. “Dads often spend hours waiting throughout the day and night and I want to improve the facilities for them.”
He added: ”A decent comfortable reclining chair in each delivery room and a great coffee machine in the waiting area will make a big difference.
“It may sound small but it will go a long way to making things less stressful for dads and mums.”
People who would like to sponsor Bill's walk can do so online by visiting the hospital website at www.surreyandsussex.nhs.uk and clicking on the donate button at the bottom of the page.