Give Andy a hoot as he 'hobbles' along 250 mile-route

man walking with sticks

Former policeman Andy Blacker suffers with MS and drop foot - Credit: EACH

Former policeman Andy Blacker may rely on sticks to walk but that is not stopping him in his latest mission to complete a 250-mile walk along Landseer Road.

walking sticks

Andy Blacker, of Ipswich, is walking 250 miles in a mission inspired by Sir Captain Tom Moore - Credit: EACG

Most mornings you will spot Andy in his hi-vis jacket on the Ipswich road, 'hobbling' along with the aid of his trusted walking sticks - and drivers asked to give him a wave and show their support.

Andy is something of a celebrity in this part of town for his fundraising walks supporting charities including East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

Having got the bug for sponsored walking in February, he completed his first challenge in the spring, inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore. He walked four miles a day for three days along Felixstowe Prom and raised nearly £8,000.

Now he is embarking on his latest mission - walking 250 miles up and down Landseer Road, between September 1 and the end of February. Taking his yearly mileage into account, he hopes to clock up 500 miles by the end of February.

Most days he aims to walk two miles despite suffering with secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS). He also has the associated symptom ‘foot drop’ and has to wear a splint on his right leg, so his mobility is severely impaired.

It means he struggles to walk just a few metres unaided. His progress is slow, but he is driven by a steely determination to support worthy causes.

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Andy is collecting sponsorship for charities close to his heart, including EACH as well as raising money for St Elizabeth Hospice and The Brain Tumour Research Charity.

“The EACH hospice at The Treehouse, in St Augustine’s Gardens, is right on the edge of my old beat, when I was a policeman, so I’ve been around since the footings were put in,” he said.

“It’s a tremendous organisation and incredibly helpful to so many people."

He said the first person to sponsor him donated £200.

“It was an extraordinary gesture and it turned out he’d had a grandson who had been cared for and loved at The Treehouse.

“It meant the world to me and it’s important to back a local charity, which makes such a difference right here in our community."

man in high vis

Andy Balcker is walking 250 miles along Landseer Road, Ipswich - Credit: EACH