Former Ipswich policeman begins Captain Tom inspired charity challenge

Inspired by Captain Tom, Andy Blacker, is taking on a 12-mile walk using his walking sticks along th

Inspired by Captain Tom, Andy Blacker is taking on a 12-mile walk using his walking sticks along the Felixstowe seafront over three days - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A former Ipswich policeman living with multiple sclerosis (MS) has begun his charity challenge in Felixstowe after being inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Andy Blacker was diagnosed with the condition 27 years ago and is currently in the secondary progressive stage, with his mobility severely impaired.

Andy is being supported by his friend Tim Walker

Andy is being supported by his friend Tim Walker - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

However, the Ipswich man has never let his condition bring him down – and is completing the 12-mile walk aided by his walking sticks to raise money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) and Suffolk Help in Multiple Sclerosis, of which he is chairman.

Mr Blacker began the three-day challenge on Friday, May 28 – and has already come close to his fundraising goal of £4,000.

Mr Blacker said: "Even during my training, I had people coming over to say hello and to donate money.

"It is great to have already raised so much, but this is all about raising awareness about the condition and the charities.

"I'm really looking forward to it.

Most Read

"I know I will do well, but there are always doubts - mostly about blisters!"

Inspired by Captain Tom, Andy Blacker, is taking on a 12-mile walk using his walking sticks along th

Mr Blacker said he wants to raise awareness about MS and the two charities - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mr Blacker continued to train throughout snowy, windy and wet conditions earlier this year to prepare himself for the challenge – admitting he had suffered several falls.

However, a trip to A&E to remove splinters and thorns from his face was never going to be enough to stop him in his tracks - with Mr Blacker saying he was looking forward to his walks along the promenade.

Andy Blacker, a former police officer who retired with multiple sclerosis, is gearing up to walk 10

Andy Blacker training in the snow in Landseer Road, Ipswich - Credit: Danielle Booden

Issy O’Riordan, EACH Suffolk community fundraiser, added: "Community-minded supporters such as Andy are vital to making sure EACH can continue caring for children and young people with life-threatening conditions, and supporting their families.

"Andy is such a pleasure to work with and his challenge is inspiring. He’s going above and beyond, and his efforts couldn’t be more appreciated."

A team of friends and supporters have set up a table near to the pier over the three days, with fundraisers waiting with buckets for people to donate.

Those who would like to donate to Andy's challenge can do so here

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter