Village hall secretary from Gainford plans fundraising bus-pass expedition (From The Advertiser Series)
Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Neil Russell, from Gainford, will travel 322-miles in two days, just using local buses
A RETIRED clergyman is planning a ‘bus pass marathon’ where he will travel 322-miles using only local services, over a two-day period next month.
Grandfather-of-five Neil Russell, from Gainford, is travelling the Coast-to-Coast route across the country on December 4 and 5, with his wife Kathleen, to raise money for Gainford Village Hall, of which he is the secretary.
The aging building was recently subject to £5,000 worth of repairs to its leaking roof.
Mr Russell wanted to undertake a fundraising activity which would catch people’s imagination but said he is unable to walk long distances or take part in physical activities.
He said: “I started to think about what I could do and thought it might be an idea to do the Coast-to-Coast route on the bus.
“It is two-fold really. I want to raise money for the village hall because it is an old building and therefore it is expensive to maintain, but I also hope it will raise awareness of how possible it is to get around on buses.
“I think buses are under-used, even by people who have a bus pass.
“Some people might be concerned that it is trivialising the bus pass but I think it is quite the opposite.
“It shows what you can do with a bus pass and how you can reach parts of the country which you thought were inaccessible.”
Mr and Mrs Russell will set off from Gainford and travel to Workington, in Cumbria, where they will stay overnight before catching buses over to Saltburn, in East Cleveland, and then travelling back to Gainford.
They will catch 22 different buses over the two-day expedition.
Mr Russell added: “I am slightly anxious because it will be winter, but hopefully it will be fine.
“I’m hoping to meet lots of people on board the local buses and explain to them what we are doing.”
To sponsor Mr Russell, email email@example.com or call 01325-733140.
Comments are closed on this article.