Inspired by the plight of cancer sufferers who lose their sight, Mick Allsop is embarking on a 24-hour blind-folded 40 mile walk around Sheffield to raise money for charity. Catherine Scott reports.
Wearing a blindfold, Mick Allsop plans to spend 24 hours walking the street of Sheffield to simulate how someone who has lost their sight through cancer might ‘see’ the city.
Mick, 57, from Totley, aims to raise £10,000 for Weston Park Cancer Hospital from what has been dubbed ‘Mick’s Feet of Endurance’ which starts at 9.30am on Saturday.
Mick has been involved in raising funds for the hospital for a number of years.
He was inspired by Mike Bennett, founding member of MB Advertising & Marketing Ltd. Mick and Mike became close friends and colleagues.
Mike was diagnosed with cancer shortly before the Millennium and died in 2009.
Since Mike was diagnosed, Mick led a team of willing volunteers on various assignments to raise awareness and funds for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, Sheffield. The hospital that gave Mike so much care in a safe and comfortable environment.
Some fund raising projects have been more challenging than others; from cake bake days and ‘tuck’ shops, to climbs up the challenging peaks of Snowdon and Helvellyn, efforts have been relentless, but the financial and emotional rewards have always been huge.
To date Mick and his team have raised £53,765 and counting!
His latest challenge came about after watching a television programme on face cancer.
“We all know about the well publicised cancer such as breast cancer, lung, testicular and prostate but I was shocked to find out that cancer sufferers can also lose parts of their body,” explains Mick.
“But where you can have a new nose or ear if you lose an eye you lose your sight and that really affected me. Mike also lost his sight in the last few months of his illness.” And so he came up with the idea of the blindfold walk.
“I’ve done quite a bit of fund-raising and I knew that I had to do something that was different and that was difficult and so I came up with this idea. We have been practising the route and I have to admit I am feeling a little nervous.”
Literally armed with his posse of supporters and helpers, Mick will have his arm tethered to various supporters who will then assist him safely and hopefully without incident around Sheffield.
“We have broken the walk down into one hour sections and I have around eight people on most section supporting me. I think the hours between midnight and 7am will be the most difficult.”
Mick is also asking people to join him at Hunter’s Bar roundabout at 9.15am for the last 45 minutes of the walk back to Weston Park Hospital.
“I am really looking forward to the last three hours on Sunday morning, particularly the last 45 minutes when hopefully we will be joined by between 20 and 30 people.”
The walk has taken on even more significance for Mick recently. In the last few weeks a colleague at work who helps raise money for the hospital lost his mum to cancer, Mick’s aunty in Italy died suddenly of cancer and four weeks ago his sister was diagnosed with a rare form of the disease.
24-hour trek starts at Hospital
Mick’s “Feet of Endurance” challenge begins at 9.30am from Weston Park Hospital, (Whitham Road, Sheffield S10 2SJ) on Saturday.
He is aiming to finish back at Weston Park Hospital at 10am the next day walking non-stop for 24 hours, Mick hopes to cover between 35 and 40 miles.
Mick and his team plan to walk in as many busy places as possible carrying buckets to raise funds for research in to cancer at Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield.
To find out more visit www.micksfeet.co.uk and to sponsor him visit www.justgiving.com/micksfeet