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Canon Gavin Kibble MBE
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Canon Gavin Kibble MBE
World News

Cathedral Canon's trek raises £26k for Zambia orphans

by Donna Birrell

A Canon at Coventry Cathedral has raised more than £26,000 for Christian organisation Feed The Hungry after completing the 13-day trek across England.

Building work is now under way on new classrooms for orphans in Zambia thanks to Gavin Kibble’s mammoth fundraising challenge walking 200 miles coast to coast.

Canon Kibble was accompanied on parts of the route, which traverses three national parks between St Bees Head in Lancashire and Robin Hood Bay in Yorkshire.

Gavin said: “The Coast-to-Coast is the biggest challenge I’ve undertaken in my entire life. By any stretch of the imagination this is a really tough walk. The last day especially was quite brutal as there is a one in three hill out of the last village which goes on for about a mile rising up 750 feet.

“There’s nothing really which can adequately prepare you for how brutal this particular walk is. You just have to go through the pain barrier and come out of the other side. It doesn’t get any easier as you go on but the brain somehow switches into a different mode.

“It asks questions of you as an individual all the way through but I learned I am a whole lot more resilient than I thought I was.”

Despite some days dogged with injury and rainstorms, happier memories of the journey include the views over Ullswater from St Sunday’s Crag four days into the walk and meeting a bride making her way to her wedding ceremony on the Fells, dressed in wedding dress and hiking boots!

It was a particularly significant challenge for the 60-year-old Projects Director of Feed The Hungry from Coventry, who has worked hard to regain fitness two years ago suffering a heart attack - and comes less than two weeks after taking part in a 34km Foodbank-athon walk between all 15 of Coventry’s foodbank centres.

He said: “I had angina before I had the heart attack so being able to walk even 200 feet without having to pause and catch my breath and wait for the chest pain to go, was something I was dealing with before the heart attack. Now I can walk 20 miles without any issues. It makes you celebrate and appreciate your good health in a way that I hadn’t done before.”

Feed The Hungry provides regular meals for children in Mazabuka, who have been orphaned by the impact of the AIDS pandemic but, since his visit in 2019, Gavin is on a mission to do even more to help. As the spades go in on the new Lukkamano School extension, Gavin and his wife Viv are also planning a return trip in March.

Gavin added: “We are hugely appreciative of the donations we’ve had so far which will allow us to build the school but we would love more funds so we can kit it out as well with desks, chairs and computer equipment.

“It helps children who have been orphaned and will give them greater chances to flourish in their own country by being properly educated. By donating you are helping to improve the life chances of hundreds of children.”

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