A COUPLE from Cirencester have completed the 184-mile Thames path walk from Kemble to London and raised more than £2,500 for charity in the process.

Alan Rice-Smith and his wife Caerwen decided to mark the end of lockdown by taking on the challenge, which includes walking from Thames Head, near Kemble, to the Thames Barrier in London.

The couple began the challenge on July 3 and completed it in 16 days, staying at B&Bs and other accommodation on the way.

Alan, 61, spent the last year recovering from a heart attack he suffered in March 2019, and although he had to pace himself a little bit during the walk, overall, he said had no problems completing the challenge.

Alan is also a member of the Rotary Club of Cirencester, who have always been keen to assist and support the community and raise money for charity.

Rotary club president Mark Wilton chose two charities who the club is actively working with and raising money for this year.

The two charities are the Big Yellow Bus Project, which is a double decker bus which was acquired by Gerry Watkins in 2017, and has undergone a conversion to provide warm, comfortable sleeping and basic cooking facilities for rough sleepers.

The second charity is Cotswold Counselling, which provides the opportunity for people to talk in confidence with someone who is trained to listen.

The money raised from Alan and Caerwen’s walk will be split towards both charities.

Alan said: “I was trying to keep fit during lockdown, which meant opportunities arose to go out and do some walks in the open air, and that’s when we discovered the walk so we thought let's give it a go.”

He added: I’m a Cirencester Rotarian so I thought there’s always a chance we could raise some money for the vital local charities the Big Yellow Bus Project and Cotswold Counselling, so we partnered up with them and decided to go for it."

To donate, visit bit.ly/2WTerdx