Fourteen-year-old Jake Hodgson will take on an epic charity adventure this month, with help from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
The Year 9 student from Ballakermeen High School is tackling the width of northern England by foot, from Saint Bees Head in Cumbria all the way to Robin Hood Bay near Whitby, in aid of local children’s hospice Rebecca House.
Approximately 200 miles in distance, it is no mean feat, however Jake is no stranger when it comes to a challenge. Last summer he walked the 102-mile Raad Ny Foillan Coastal Footpath around the Isle of Man, over two and a half days, raising more than £7,000 for Rebecca House.
On Saturday 20th July, he will travel to the UK to take on his latest fundraiser, accompanied by mum Lisa, dad Craig and younger sister Carys, as well as a number of close family friends including five-time Parish Walk winner Robbie Callister. The Steam Packet Company is offering its support by providing free return travel to and from the UK for Jake and his team of supporters.
The route will take him through three national parks; the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, and is planned to take no more than 9 days to complete. Jake has opted for the toughest trail, which means he must scale more than 2,500 feet on at least two occasions throughout the walk.
Explaining why he chose to raise money for Rebecca House, Jake said: ‘It’s so sad to see young people unable to enjoy things that we take for granted due to illness. Some of these children never get the opportunity to go on walks and explore the great outdoors, so I thought the least I can do is help them by raising money that will be used towards their care and comfort.
‘I’ve learned a lot about Rebecca House since starting this journey and was honoured to be named one of the Hospice Youth Ambassadors. It really is an amazing facility and I hope I’m able to exceed my £15,000 fundraising goal and make a difference to the lives of local people.’
In preparation for the challenge, Jake has been out and about most weekends on training walks around the Isle of Man. On average he walks around 30 to 40 miles per week, which includes walking to and from school each day, as well as riding his mountain bike and attending boxing three times per week.
Jake continued: ‘I’m looking forward to everything really, and although I’m sure I’ll find it challenging at times, once I reach the finish line I know it will be an incredible feeling. According to tradition I must remove a shoe and dip my toe in the Irish Sea before I set off. I’ll also be picking up a pebble from St Bee’s beach in Cumbria, carrying it all the way to the other side of England and placing it back on the beach in Robin Hood’s Bay – just a small way to commemorate my walk.
‘The beautiful British scenery will definitely help me along the way and I’ve been told I may even spot the Isle of Man on a clear day from the mountains in the Lake District - which would be epic!
‘I would like to say a huge thank you to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for its fabulous support. I would also like to thank those that have sponsored me so far and the close friends that are giving up their holidays to support me on the walk and keep me company. It really means a lot.’
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘Jake is a very impressive young man who, at the age of 14, has achieved amazing things and all off his own accord. He should be very proud of the money he has managed to raise for Rebecca House and we’re pleased to support him on his latest adventure. We wish him the best of luck.’
During the walk Jake will be posting a number of live Facebook videos and supporters will be able to follow his journey via Strava live tracking, which will indicate exactly where he is, how many miles he’s walked and his walking speed.
To follow and support Jake’s journey, visit: www.facebook.com/jake-hodgson8 or if you would like to make a donation, head to www.justgiving.com/jake-hodgson8