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Daft as a Brush founder charity boss finishes 7,000 mile coast trek

image copyrightDaft as a Brush
image captionBrian Burnie said he was "unbelievably" moved as friends and family welcomed him back to Newcastle

A charity boss who arranges transport for cancer patients has completed a 7,000-mile (11,265km) trek as he bids to make his service national.

Daft as a Brush founder Brian Burnie set off around the coastline of the UK and Ireland in 2018 from Newcastle.

However, after walking almost 6,000 miles (9,650km), he was halted in March this year by the coronavirus lockdown.

Mr Burnie 76, said it was "unbelievably moving" as he was welcomed back to Newcastle by friends and family.

image copyrightDaft as a Brush
image captionBrian Burnie finished his walk alongside his wife Cheryl by crossing the Millennium Bridge from Gateshead to Newcastle

Highlights of his trip included getting married on the Isle of Skye to Cheryl, his partner of four years, who assisted him throughout the expedition.

The couple used a converted double-decker bus as a mobile home throughout their journey.

They started in Gateshead, went up and around the Scottish coast, on to Wales, then completed the Irish coast before returning to complete England.

image copyrightDaft as a Brush
image captionBrian marked his return by kissing the quayside

They had got as far as Torquay when the lockdown came in, forcing them to return home.

But, inspired by Capt Tom Moore, Mr Burnie completed enough laps of his garden and a local golf club to cover the distance between Torquay and Middlesbrough, from where he resumed his walk.

Mr Burnie, who has Parkinson's disease, visited cancer centres around the country to tell them about his charity, which has 350 volunteers and 30 ambulances which make 45,000 patient journeys in the North East annually.

image copyrightDaft As A Brush
image captionBrian Burnie started his walk in Newcastle in 2018

He said: "My dream is to roll the charity out nationwide.

"Cancer patients have told me that just getting to hospital every day can cause as much stress and anxiety as the treatment itself, so if we can help relieve that then we must."

He said he has no plans to celebrate the completion of his walk and instead is "looking forward" to getting back to work at the charity tomorrow.

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Related Topics

  • Torquay
  • Gateshead
  • Isle of Skye
  • Cancer
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Walking

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