Fundraiser Andy begins his next charity adventure

Andy Blacker has started his Hopple for Hope in aid of The Bus Shelter.

Andy Blacker has started his Hopple for Hope in aid of The Bus Shelter. L-R Dan Corbett, Ipswich Mayor Elizabeth Hughes, Gareth Brenland, Kay Blacker, Andy Blacker, Roy Broom, Lynn Scarfe. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

Intrepid fundraiser Andy Blacker is once again putting his best foot forward despite facing the challenge of multiple sclerosis (MS) - this time to raise money for a homeless charity. 

The former policeman began his next adventure, known as the Hobble for Hope, in Landseer Road, Ipswich on Saturday as he aims to walk 100 miles for The Bus Shelter, which provides for the basic needs of the homeless. 

Since early 2021, he has already walked 555 miles for various causes and completed his most recent stint of 250 miles in September, raising more than £9,000 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), Suffolk Help in Multiple Sclerosis, St Elizabeth Hospice and Brain Tumour Research. 

Andy Blacker with Ipswich Mayor, Elizabeth Hughes.

Andy Blacker with Ipswich Mayor, Elizabeth Hughes. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

He was joined by seven people on Saturday as he started off, including Ipswich Mayor Elizabeth Hughes. 

He intends to walk a couple of miles a day, five times a week mainly in the Cliff Road/Landseer Road area, though he may venture further afield, including to Felixstowe seafront. 

During previous walks, he has visited the seafront where he was greeted by the town’s mayor.

Gareth Brenland (left) from The Bus Shelter with Andy Blacker

Gareth Brenland (left) from The Bus Shelter with Andy Blacker - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

He said: “It is not about me, it is about the Bus Shelter. I met their volunteers on previous walks and had a chat with them and I thought ‘this is a really good cause and I will try and help them next'."

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Mr Blacker was originally 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, in doing so, he has had to overcome the obstacles posed by MS, which is in the secondary progressive stage and affects his mobility, meaning he has to walk with a walking stick. 

During his walks, he has received a lot of support and encouragement from the community, including lorry drivers, gyms and electronics firms.