Adventure costs nothing but raises more than £10k

The four Navy officers including Chris Orkney, second from right, complete the cathedral hymn singing challenge.
The four Navy officers including Chris Orkney, second from right, complete the cathedral hymn singing challenge.

A Northumberland man and his three colleagues have completed their epic charity adventure.

HMS Ocean Petty Officers Chris Orkney, Kieran Woodward, Jamie Marples and Steve Groves have raised more than £10,000 for The Sick Children’s Trust and the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF).

The By Any Means trek from Plymouth to Newcastle started on Friday, May 12, and they reached Scott House, Newcastle, on the morning of Friday, May 19 to meet charity representatives and the ship’s captain, Rob Pedre.

They were not allowed to spend any money, which meant they relied on the support of the public, businesses and organisations to get to their destination.

Challenges were set by fellow officers to bring in extra funds, such as singing a hymn in a cathedral, getting onto the roof of Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield and going to iconic places in London.

Chris lives near Morpeth with wife Nicola and their two sons – Declan and Locklan.

He wanted to do something to thank the charities for their efforts and support when three-year-old Declan needed major open-heart surgery at the Freeman Hospital.

Chris said: “We had such an amazing trip and we’d like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who helped us along the way and all those who have made a donation.

“The fantastic generosity of the public over the week made it evident that it’s Great Britain, not ‘Broken Britain’.

“We were so emotional having completed the challenge and we weren’t expecting to see so many children at Scott House. It was then that what we were doing really hit home for my colleagues.”

The four officers received lifts from members of the public and public sector organisations, rail and bus companies allowed them to travel for free, people paid for some of their train tickets and hotels and B&Bs allowed them to stay overnight without charge.