Walk provides breakfast food

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A charity’s trustee has raised £5,000 for his chosen cause.

Pat Smith, who lives in Potton, walked 500 miles to help The Kasiisi Porridge Project.

The project, which is based near Sandy, provides a daily mug of porridge for schoolchildren living near the Kibale National Park in western Uganda.

The children would otherwise go for the whole school day without food.

Pat said: “It’s an old pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, and it has been walked for 1,000 years or so.

“I walked from the bottom left hand corner of France, across the Pyrenees to the Santiago de Compostela in the top left hand corner of Spain.

“It’s where St James was supposed to be buried.”

He had not walked for any long distances before, although he does join his family on five to 10 mile walks.

Pat, of Brook End in Potton, did do some training to build up his stamina.

The route started with difficult walking through the Pyrenees but later levelled out.

Pat said: “It was 32 days of walking with about 15 miles a day. I got a fair amount of blisters and food poisoning and I had shin splints for tendonitis but the last week was fantastic.

“I raised £5,000. That was my aim and it was very pleasing.”

His sponsors included fellow members of the congregation at St Peter’s Church in Biggleswade and friends in Potton.

Pat, 58, retired from his job as a computer salesman two years ago and he was looking for a project to help.

He said: “These children get up very early and walk a long way to school. They have no food to eat in the day and their first meal is in the evening.

“This project stops them dropping out of school. Our food helps them.”

The charity is small and raises around £15,000 a year with £300 to £400 being spent on running costs and the rest being used to help the 1,500 youngsters.

The money is also going towards the development of a community farm to help them to pay for their own porridge.

For details see http://kasiisiporridge.org/