Sunday, September 25, 2022
HomeUK NewsPolice sergeant counting on strangers to stroll from Land's Finish to London...

Police sergeant counting on strangers to stroll from Land’s Finish to London with no cash

Tom Harrison on his trek, counting on the ‘kindness of strangers’ to get from Land’s Finish to London (Image: Tom Harrison/PA)

A police sergeant is strolling over 260 miles from Cornwall to London – with no cash, no meals, and no plans for the place he’ll sleep every evening.

Veteran fundraiser Tom Harrison, 46, is maybe higher often known as ‘Mr Gorilla’, however this time he has ditched the furry swimsuit for the colors of the Ukrainian flag. 

His newest charity mission sees him depend on the ‘kindness of strangers’ to finish the trek, which he began at Land’s Finish on September 12. 

We caught up with the dad-of-two someplace close to Taunton, after he had been strolling round 20 miles a day for ten days.

He was feeling drained however motivated, and had managed to search out someplace to put his sleeping bag each evening, whether or not that was somebody’s backyard summer time home, a tent or a lodge room going spare.

‘When it comes to getting individuals to provide me meals on the way in which, I simply must go and knock on individuals’s doorways and inform them my story, after which hope that they’ll give me no less than one thing,’ he instructed

To view this video please allow JavaScript, and take into account upgrading to an internet
browser that
helps HTML5

This time he swapped the gorilla swimsuit for the colors of the Ukrainian flag (Image: PA)
Tom completely satisfied to be given a beef roll on the Thorverton Arms in Exeter after many apples and bananas (Image: Tom Harrison)

‘It’s not all the time what I would like – I’ve had a number of bananas and apples and generally I simply want a sandwich!’ So I all the time do throw in, ‘have you ever obtained any bread?!”’

Maybe these serving to him with fruit had been pondering of his gorilla alter ego, after he briefly turned well-known for crawling the size of the London Marathon elevating over £24,000 for The Gorilla Organisation.

This time round, he has to this point raised £3,763 for the Ukraine Disaster Attraction run by the British Pink Cross Society.

Naturally, he hasn’t had solely constructive welcomes from everybody he tries to get assist from alongside the way in which – as some discover it a bit unusual {that a} stranger is asking to sleep of their backyard.

Remembering one event in Cornwall, he instructed he might see an out constructing in a backyard and requested ‘Any likelihood I might sleep in your summerhouse?’

‘They mentioned, “Oh, no, we take safety very critically.” Which is honest sufficient. There’s no level arguing with anyone.

‘On the finish of the day, I’m asking one thing of them. They’re completely entitled to both say no and even clear off after which I simply have to just accept that.

‘After which additionally know that there’ll all the time be one thing else.’

Dave from Lewdown village store in Devon helped him out with some provisions (Image: Tom Harrison)
This problem is unquestionably extra comfy than crawling the London Marathon in 2017 (Image: Reuters)
He slept in one in all these tents one evening close to Hayle in Cornwall (Image: Tom Harrison)
An older couple close to Camelford let him sleep of their summer time home (Image: Tom Harrison)
He was given a hand knitted mascot of a Ukrainian as motivation (Image: Tom Harrison)

He had higher luck in Camelford, when a pair referred to as Annie and Geoff did let him sleep of their summer time home – and even cooked him some chilli.

One other man with a summer time home – in addition to a pool and listed walled backyard – additionally let him keep in a single day in Durston close to Taunton, and cooked up a bowl of pasta as effectively.

And a girl in Bruton, Somerset, even gave him a handknitted doll carrying the colors of the Ukrainian flag after he stopped to speak.

‘I’m going to provide it to a Ukrainian little one who lives with my mate’s pal once I get again to London,’ he mentioned.

Tom, who took depart from the Metropolitan Police in London to hold out the problem, mentioned he tries to be informal when asking for assist – even when he hasn’t discovered something to eat for ages.

‘Even when I’m ravenous, or I’m fairly fearful that there gained’t be anyplace to remain, I don’t present that,’ he explains.

‘As a result of my appears to be like of desperation may go on to them after which they’d assume, truly, we don’t need this man right here!’

By round 5pm he is able to discover someplace to place down his backpack, because it will get ‘fairly chilly at evening – down in direction of zero so I don’t actually need to be outdoors’.

To assist clarify issues, he has his charity web page at hand when knocking on doorways to indicate individuals why he’s doing the problem.

Some strangers have helped him out, however he has additionally had success with lodges such because the Vacation Inn close to Bodmin, who let him keep in a room that wasn’t booked when he confirmed up within the night.

Yani and Tracy from the Cornish Oven pasty store in Camborne took pity on him (Image: Tom Harrison)
He additionally managed to get a sleep on the Vacation Inn at Victoria providers close to Bodmin in Cornwall (Image: Tom Harrison)

He additionally turned to some distant relations residing alongside the route, whose numbers his mum gave him beforehand, and on a very determined evening obtained picked up on the roadside by one.

Most of his route is taking him alongside pathways much less busy roads, so he thinks by the tip he could have walked considerably additional than the 263 miles it could take alongside predominant roads.

His motivation to maintain going is seeing donations are available in to his JustGiving web page, and from pondering of the difficulties confronted by individuals in Ukraine who are actually seven months right into a conflict of aggression began by their bigger neighbour Russia.

‘Individuals nonetheless need assistance, in order that’s why I set foot on this barely bonkers trek,’ he mentioned.

Regardless of the shortage of constant meals or bedding, what he’s lacking most is his sons aged 9 and 11.

They’ve been cheering him on with movies from again dwelling in Amersham, doing their very own mini treks in solidarity.

He thinks he could attain London in round every week’s time, arriving anytime from Thursday onwards.

The end line shall be in Parliament Sq., the place he’s hoping to satisfy somebody important to have a good time the completion.

Get in contact with our information staff by emailing us at

For extra tales like this, verify our information web page.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments