Kesgrave man's daily trolley dash for charity cash
- Credit: Denise Bradley
It may look like he strayed too far from the supermarket – but this Kesgrave man isn't off his trolley – he's pushing to go the extra mile for charity.
Keith Rodwell has suffered lower back pain since 1982 – to the point where he can no longer stand for long or walk far without it becoming unbearable.
Getting heavier due to lack of exercise, the 73-year-old joined a weight management program with One Life Suffolk, which pointed him towards sporting charity, WheelPower, for chair-based exercise sessions – held live online, three times a week, during the pandemic.
"Although I am not a wheelchair user, I was able to avail myself of the sessions and was made very welcome," said Mr Rodwell.
Like many charities, WheelPower's operations have been affected by Covid-19. To raise funds, service users were invited to join in the January Walk and Push campaign.
Mr Rodwell, a fundraiser for various charities over the 40 years, mainly through dances he arranged and bands he played in, wanted to help the cause despite struggling to walk far unaided.
"When I do the weekly shop at Sainsbury’s, I am able to walk around the store by leaning over one of their large trolleys, taking the stress off of my back and spine," he said.
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"The Warren Heath store very kindly loaned me a trolley for the whole of January. I would like to say a big thank you to Sainsbury’s and their duty manager, Johnno, who arranged to have the trolley delivered to my home."
On January 1, Mr Rodwell completed his first 1.3-mile round trip from home in Bell Lane to the Kesgrave Bell pub and back – joined and assisted in keeping a straight path by his wife, Yvonne.
"The walk was tougher than I anticipated," he said.
"I have a walking aid that doubles up as a folding seat, which I used as and when I needed a rest. I'm sure it will get easier as the days go by.
"What was really nice was seeing and talking to friends along the way."
Mr Rodwell has set up a Just Giving page, where people can sponsor his walks and see regular updates on his progress.
The page can be found by searching for 'Keith Rodwell' at justgiving.com.