Published: 10 June 2024

A group of friends put on their walking boots to trek across Wales in aid of a lifesaving charity.

Their fantastic effort helped raise an incredible £4,250 for the Wales Air Ambulance.

The group completed the challenge of walking across Wales at its narrowest point – Machynlleth to Montgomery in just three days, which saw them clock off 36.2 miles, 87,400 steps, whilst also climbing 3874 feet!

The team consisted of Mark Powell, Colin Pell, Simon Clough,  Brian and Lesley Moss, Gwynnie Millington, Jonathan Thomas, David and Olwen Edwards.

Mark Powell, said: “We did it! The weather was kind to us, but it was a tough one for sure. There were some big climbs but some lovely canal paths to walk along too. Oh, and a number of public footpaths had been blocked or built on!”

Wales Air Ambulance is consultant-led, taking hospital-standard treatments to the patient and if required, transferring them directly to the most appropriate hospital for their illness or injury. 

It is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector partnership. The Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) supplies highly skilled NHS consultants and critical care practitioners who work on board the charity’s vehicles.

Mark, who is a retiree of Barclays took part alongside four Barclay’s retirees and two current Barclays staff. The four other friends included a post mistress from Abergele, a retired HR manager from Cheshire West Council and a music teacher.

Barclays donated £750 towards the fundraiser. A delighted Mark added: “During our time with Barclays the company each year promoted and supported a MADD day  (Make A Difference Day) and since I've retired from Barclays I continue this trend with an annual charity fundraiser and persuade friends and family to join me.

“Barclays offer £750 for retirees and £1,000 for existing staff, which is a great incentive and helps to increase the amount we can raise for charities.”

The team were also gifted over 40 bottles of water and a similar number of chocolate/energy bars by a Local SPAR in Davenham, Cheshire to help them along the way.

Wales Air Ambulance needs to raise £11.2 million every year to keep its helicopters in the air and rapid response vehicles on the road.

Reflecting on the fundraiser and why the lifesaving Charity was chosen, Mark said: “The work the Wales Air Ambulance does is so worthwhile and deserves so much support, no one knows if they will ever need to use it but will be happy in the knowledge that it’s there if needed.

“Our friends and family are always supportive but also think we are all slightly mad!”

Regional Fundraising Manager for Wales Air Ambulance, Elaine Orr, said: “A huge thank you to all who took part in the three day challenge. You have all raised an incredible amount for our cause. Fundraisers, like this, will help us continue to be there for the people of Wales when they need us most. We are extremely grateful for your efforts.  Thank you also to Barclays for donating £750 to the fundraiser. We wish the group of friends the best of luck in their future fundraising efforts.”

Mark has added that next year they might set themselves the challenge of taking part in a quirky triathlon - to walk, to cycle and to canoe around Bala lake.