A Buxton man is hoping to raise £8,000 for charity by completing a sponsored walk from London to Paris with the support of his local opticians. Charles Gwillim will take on the challenge to raise money for the The U Foundation, a charity working in Zambia on infrastructure and education projects.

Tackling 160 miles across eight days, Charles’ challenge will start on the 18 June and finish on 25 June and the retired sales representative has done plenty of training to make sure he is up to the task. 

Buxton team support

The Specsavers Buxton team has supported Charles by providing a brand new pair of sunglasses to keep his eyes safe from the summer sun as he averages 22 miles per day outside. 

Charles says: ‘A major fund raising event for The U Foundation is a London to Paris cycle ride which I have always declined to do, saying that when I retired I would walk it instead. Now that time has come and I am making sure that I am prepared as possible for the challenge.

Eye health

‘I am extremely grateful for the support I have received from the Specsavers team in Buxton, and I’m hoping the sunglasses they have given me will be put to good use and I will see some sunshine while I am out walking.’

Tom Rhodes, Buxton Specsavers store director says: ‘Charles is taking on an incredible challenge and for a brilliant cause, too. As a long standing customer of ours we wanted to support him in any way we could and his eye health was obviously something we wanted to ensure was taken care of.’

Charles will be joined by his wife and friends on the first day of his mission, but will be walking alone for the most part and will be writing a blog to document his challenge. 

A special cause

‘By doing this mammoth walk I want to raise money to help help those who don't possess the things that we take for granted on a daily basis” says Charles. “I've seen first hand the faces of these people light up and felt their sincere gratitude when they see what people have done for them.’

Specsavers Buxton is a longstanding supporter of The U Foundation, previously providing 500 pairs of glasses to be distributed to

More information
To keep updated with Charles’ challenge, his blog can be found here:https://londontopariswalk.wordpress.com

To help sponsor Charles, visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=CharlesGwillim

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