When Preston-born lawyer David Walton lost a work colleague to cancer, he was determined to do something to honour his friend’s memory and raise money for charity.
He set himself the challenge of climbing all 214 Wainwrights - the hills and mountains in the Lake District identified by famed writer and cartographer Alfred Wainwright, in aid of Cancer Research UK.
The 44-year-old, who is head of employment law at Gorvins solicitors in Stockport, was inspired to take on the challenge following the death last year of his friend, Steven Moyle, at the age of 56.
He said: “We saw another incredibly courageous side to Steven after he became ill. In the months before he died, at times when he must have been in significant pain and discomfort, he continued to come to work, and displayed the same brightness and humour as ever.
“He was clearly determined to continue with business as usual and was an inspiration to all those who worked around him, and particularly those junior staff for whom he was responsible for mentoring and teaching, as he battled his illness with great dignity and optimism.
“Even after major surgery he returned to work, and continued to come to the office right until the last few weeks of his life.
“Having watched Steven at close quarters go through such an ordeal, I wanted to do something positive and meaningful to commemorate the passing of this remarkable and unique character on behalf of the whole firm. I therefore decided that 2016 would be the year I would try to complete the Wainwrights in Steven’s name and raise money for Cancer Research at the same time.”
According to a register maintained by the Long Distance Walkers Association, only 750 people are recorded as having climbed all 214 peaks.
David says his year-long project hasn’t been without its difficulties, as he battled the elements and got lost a few times.
He added: “Cancer is a terrible scourge and we need to raise as much money as we can to find ways to treat and beat this disease. Walking in the hills and taking on the challenge has given me a wonderful time and opportunity to remember Steven, appreciate a stunning area of natural beauty and raise money for such a worthy cause.”
To sponsor David, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/wallywalksthewainwrights