Off to the tower with Neil

Neil Hailwood with his fellow walkers and children of Derian House- Pic by Josh Vosper- Go2Pics
Neil Hailwood with his fellow walkers and children of Derian House- Pic by Josh Vosper- Go2Pics

A Chorley walker is ‘towering’ over the rest with his latest fund-raising idea.

Neil Hailwood, 40, and a group of friends will walk to Blackpool Tower and back on Friday August 30 to raise money for Derian House.

More than 20 people are taking part in the walk, which starts at 10pm and will finish mid Saturday afternoon.

Last year Neil raised £3,500 for CLIC Sargent by travelling from Skipton to Chorley along the Leeds/Liverpool canal.

But this year Neil wanted to choose a charity in Chorley and he has personal reasons towards the selection of Derian House.

He said: “Some really close friends of ours a few years ago lost their little boy to cancer.

“He was nine and had the illness since he was five.

“After he passed away it really woke me up. I thought I need to do something about it.

“After last year’s canal ride I wanted to do something more challenging and this came straight into my head.”

Organising the event isn’t easy and Neil needs the help of residents to help marshall the walkers.

Cars are needed to ensure the walk is safe and walkers are protected on their journey.

Chorley FC boss Graham Watkinson is backing Neil and has donated his company minibus to the venture.

Neil added: “Graham has been excellent with us but what we need is the help of people to make the walk as safe as possible.”

Training has already started for Neil and friends.

He said: “I’m doing around 15 mile walks to get used to it.

“They are hard and I am buying plenty of stodge to help keep me going!”

Chorley FC Director and owner of GDW engineering, Graham Watkinson had no hesitation in backing Neil as soon as he asked for the bus.

He said: “I’ve known Neil through the football and as soon as I heard he was doing this for Derian House I wanted to be involved. Unfortunately the club is playing away the day of the walk so I won’t be able to make it.

“Hopefully they will raise plenty of money and I have donated to the great cause.”

A spokesman from Derian House said: “What Neil is doing for the charity is amazing.

“We rely heavily on donations as we aren’t government supported so it really is kind of what Neil is doing.”

To help contribute and donate Neil can be contacted on or on: 07957 451122

Or donate by text on wofb99 and the amount to 70070