Adventurous grandfather, 77, completes Hartlepool to Whitby walk to improve nursing care


Brian Footitt, 77, who worked in the health service for 50 years, walked the St. Hilda’s Path from St. Hilda’s Church, Hartlepool, to Whitby Abbey in just three days.

He overcame the elements and his age to raise £ 3,000 for the Florence Nightingale Foundation which provides scholarships for nurses to further their careers.

Brian, from Elwick, who is about to become a great-grandfather, said: “Since I turned 70 I felt I had to do something to prove to myself that I was not. not on the hill.

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Arriving in Whitby, (left to right) Gareth Footitt, Brian Footitt and their friends Blair Kestor and Amanda Skelton.

“Every year I do something different. Last year my son and I did Europe’s longest zipline in Wales.”

This year, he chose to support the Florence Nightingale Foundation because of his experience in the health field and he has already benefited from one of their scholarships to study in America.

Brian, who was Assistant Director of Nursing at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, added: “I can understand the challenges my colleagues are going through at the moment.

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Departing from St Hilda Church (left to right) Trevor Sherwood from LilyAnne Café, Blair Kestor, Mahmoud Nyelenkeh and Brian Footitt.

With him every step of the way was his friend Blair Kestor whom he met during a pilgrimage walk in Spain in 2018.

Brian, who had open heart surgery 10 years ago, was also joined in part by his son Gareth, 42, and his friend Mahmoud Nyelenkeh, an asylum seeker from Sierra Leone, Africa l ‘Where is.

He said: “It was difficult but definitely enjoyable.

“The rain didn’t bother me, but the wind was tough. But you just bow your head and grit your teeth.

Brian is a valued volunteer at LilyAnne’s Cafe in Hartlepool.

“Success is trying. In a way, I feel like I’ve made a difference.

“I have set myself a target of reaching £ 3,000 and we have achieved what is great.”

It will cover the cost of funding a nursing fellowship to enable someone to improve clinical outcomes, patient experience and the health of the country.

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