Daft as a Brush charity founder, 78, sets off on 1,000 mile walk from Middlesbrough

Brian Burnie setting off on his latest fundraising adventure. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The founder of a North East-based charity has embarked on a 1,000 mile fundraising walk from Middlesbrough to Devon.

Brian Burnie, from Newcastle, set off from James Cook Hospital on Thursday 16 June on his trek to Torbay General Hospital, in Torquay.

The 78-year-old, who has Parkinson's, hopes the journey will fund the expansion of Daft as a Brush, the charity he established in the late 1980s to transport cancer patients to and from hospital.

It does so with a fleet of more than 40 ambulances operated by more tan 400 volunteers spread across the North East, Scottish Borders, West Cumbria, and North Yorkshire.

Mr Burnie is confident the increased exposure will help fundraise the charity's expansion further south.

The charity has transported countless grateful patients to appointments at James Cook's Cancer Institute. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

"It’s only about 1,000 miles," he told ITV News Tyne Tees before setting off.

"For someone who’s 78 with Parkinson's, that’s going to be an absolute doddle, so watch this space."

He crossed the start line with a crew of service users, volunteers and doctors.

One man who started off as a user and became a volunteer said: "I’ve always respected Brian’s idea and his ambition and his drive. I wish him all the very best."

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