Three employees of Bibby Financial Services are walking the length of the Grand Union Canal from London to Birmingham over five days to raise funds for Cure Leukaemia.

Luke Passmore, David Simpson and Matt Ferguson are taking on the challenge for Cure Leukaemia in memory of Jake Hood who passed away aged just 19 in 2015 after a long battle with blood cancer. Luke is close friends with Jake’s father Paul and took part in a special fundraising rugby match held at BBOB RFC in Northampton, the club Jake used to play for.

Luke, a 42-year-old father of two from Northampton, who works a Risk Manager at Bibby said:

I somehow dreamed up this challenge while looking at the grand union canal challenge that goes on every year but I wanted to do something a little more extreme. I guess it’s something that’s come from wanting to test myself with a challenge I can actually get my body to achieve before I get too old! Having played rugby for many years in the front row, running has never been something for me, so big huge walks are more suited to me!

The charity was an obvious choice for me, being very good friends with Jake’s father and it being something that is so well supported by members of the rugby club following Jake’s example.

With the additional support that we get from Bibby in its match funding, this should be a really good way to raise a nice amount for charity and know that our twisted senses of humour will keep us going.

Above: Jake Hood receieivng a special award from Cure Leukaemia Chief Executive James McLaughlin a few months before his death.

David, a 26-year-old father of two from Banbury who works as a client service manager at Bibby said:

When I saw the email from Luke about doing a charity walk to raise money for Cure Leukaemia I simply had get involved to support a great charity and help raise money for an amazing cause.

I am not much of a walker really, I love playing football, running and cycling, however walking is something I’ve never really enjoyed.

So the thought of walking a marathon distance each day, for 5 days, is terrifying!

However, I am genuinely looking forward to this challenge, It will be great to have some fun with Matt and Luke along the way, and I look forward to smashing our target of £1,000 and coming back with many photos of our pain-stricken faces.

Matt, a 31-year-old Relationship Manager at Bibby who lives in Oxfordshire said:

I am an avid walker, I love spending time wandering through woodland and seeing what I can discover, so when Luke mentioned the challenge I jumped at the chance. I must admit I’ve never taken on such a huge distance and I’m really excited to explore the less travelled path and see the sights that simply aren’t accessible by road or rail.

The cause is a very personal one to me for different reasons. Having survived cancer at age 18, this challenge has given me the opportunity to get involved with the ongoing efforts to improve the treatment of this disease and to give hope and vital support to the families affected by it.

The difference organisations like Cure Leukaemia can make to the understanding and treatment of cancer is massive, and the individual support that nurses offer can make a huge difference in the lives of those affected by it. To be able to support that activity in even the slightest way was something I simply couldn’t turn down.

To get ready for this I have recently spent a week down in Cornwall, walking 50 miles of coastal paths over a few days from a central base camp, taking in some stunning views and local beers, but I’m certainly under no illusions that this will be a holiday!

The three intrepid walkers are due to finish the challenge at Cure Leukaemia’s offices in Colmore Row, Birmingham on the afternoon of Thursday May 24th.

To make a donation to the team please click HERE