A South Lakeland man is planning to walk coast to coast - and back again - for charity.

It will take Jack Ellerby, of Kendal, 22 days to make the 400 mile round trip.

Although he was diagnosed with Crohn's disease last summer, Mr Ellerby, 50, has chosen to walk for two causes unrelated to his own condition: The Brain Tumour Charity and The Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association. He hopes to raise £10,000 for each - with the money raised for MND being split equally between research and the North Lancashire/ South Cumbria Branch of the association, based at Kendal United Reformed Church, Kendal.

"People say 'why are you not raising money for a Crohn's charity?' My answer is it doesn't kill you," he said.

"I'm a very unselfish person. I'd rather do something that benefits other people," he added.

The Motor Neurone Disease Association was decided upon after a close friend - Debbie Greenwood - was diagnosed with the condition, which affects the messages the nerves in the brain and spinal cord send to the muscles.

"Debbie was so active and loved the outdoors... It's terrible there is currently no cure for MND, so I hope raising money will contribute to changing this," said Mr Ellerby.

Two of his good friends, Darren Garbutt, and later Darren's mother Pat, died after developing brain tumours - leading Mr Ellerby to his other choice of charity.

He said: "Darren was one of the soundest lads I've known - thoughtful, intelligent, and a great, dry sense of humour.... He died at only 23 years old from a brain tumour - a lost life full of so much promise."

He added: "Pat was like my second mother and I loved her to bits. Tragically she developed a brain tumour and fought for four years before passing away in 2016."


This is not the first time that Mr Ellerby has covered mammoth distances for charity - in 2014, along with friend Steve Gaskell, he cycled 1054 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats, raising £8,200 for The Multiple Sclerosis Society in the process.

Asked whether he'd been training for the the coming journey, he said: "Not really no. I've got a dog - I walk the dog twice a day!"

On 7 May Mr Ellerby will set off from St Bees Head on the Cumbrian coast. He will pass through the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, before finishing at Robin Hood's Bay in the North York Moors.

To donate, visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JackEllerby