A fundraiser who has overcome Multiple Sclerosis (MS) to complete charity walks was ‘overwhelmed’ to receive an invite to meet the Mayor of Ipswich following his latest adventure.

Former Ipswich policeman Andy Blacker was invited ‘out of the blue’ to meet Mayor Elizabeth Hughes in recognition of his achievement in walking 250 miles for charity since September.

He said: “When I received the invitation, I was just overwhelmed. I thought ‘wow.’ I was very overwhelmed and totally surprised by it.”

Earlier this month, he completed the distance when he finished outside the Co-Op in Clapgate Lane, Ipswich and raised £9,350 for charities, including East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH), Suffolk Help in Multiple Sclerosis, St Elizabeth Hospice and Brain Tumour Research.

He was greeted at the finish by about 30 friends and family, having completed the distance in a time of 208 hours.

He was inspired to take up the walking challenge by Captain Sir Tom Moore, who became famous during the COVID-19 lockdowns for walking 100 lengths of his garden to raise money for the NHS.

However, his mobility is severely impaired by his MS, which is in the secondary progressive stage and means he has to use walking sticks.

After starting out by walking the Orwell Bridge, he decided to change location to Felixstowe seafront promenade and he said he had received support and donations from gyms, lorry drivers and electronics firms.

Mr Blacker added: “Receiving the invite was a bolt out of the blue, but it was great to be recognised for something that I did for charity.”

Now he is turning his attention to his next challenge- a ‘Hobble for Hope’- and has revealed that this adventure will be starting on May 1 in Cliff Lane in Ipswich.

This time, he is aiming to walk 100 miles to raise money for homeless charity The Bus Shelter in Ipswich.

To support Mr Blacker, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/a-blacker