Fifty pairs of socks and 100 bananas accompany postman as he completes London to Edinburgh delivery run

Mark Penfold with grandson Frankie after crossing the finish line

Mark Penfold with grandson Frankie after crossing the finish line - Credit: Archant

Postman Mark Penfold stopped in Sawtry and Huntingdon on Tuesday as he continued his walk on one of Royal Mail’s earliest postal routes - from Edinburgh to London.

Mark’s walk, of which he has already completed nearly 300 miles, commemorates Royal Mail’s celebration of 500 years of the postal service, and will raise money for charity, the Lily Foundation.

Mark launched his massive walk in Edinburgh and has stops planned in Stamford, I Lincolnshire, Sawtry, Caxton and Huntingdon as he makes his way towards London. He was cheered on by colleagues at Orton Southgate Delivery Office on Monday morning and again at the Huntingdon delivery office on Tuesday.

The Lily Foundation is a charity close to Mark’s heart. His grandson, 18-month-old Frankie, suffers from mitochondrial disease, It’s a genetic condition that prevents cells in the body from producing enough energy for the body to survive.

It can affect any part of the body, for example the heart, brain, muscles, eyes, hearing, stomach or kidneys and has no known cure.


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The Lily Foundation funds research to improve diagnosis and increase treatment options for the disease, and ultimately find a cure. The charity also raises much needed awareness of the condition and support families affected by Mitochondrial Disease.

Mark, 50, continues to be supported by family, friends and colleagues throughout the walk. Royal Mail and Communications Workers Union (CWU) will be providing all support and supplies.

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Mark will be followed on the route by a Royal Mail branded vehicle with CWU helpers carrying supplies, 100 bananas, 125 litres of water, 25 Royal Mail teeshirts, two pairs of trainers, five tubs of Vaseline, 50 pairs of socks, 50 sports drinks, 30 bags of peanuts, 25 protein shakes, 10 tubes of deep heat and 30 packets of jelly babies.

All funds Mark raises, up to a maximum of £20,000 will also be matched by Royal Mail. He will finish by crossing Tower Bridge on Saturday, en route to the Guild Hall in London, where he will join Royal Mail’s 500 year celebrations.

Mark, who aims to walk around 20 miles a day, said: “I am privileged to be following in the footsteps of ancient postal carriers to mark 500 years of the postal service. I am also trying to raise money for a cause close to my heart. Thinking of Frankie will spur me on to the finish line in London.

“I can’t thank Royal Mail, my colleagues and the CWU enough, for the first class help, support and organisation it has taken to get me to the start today. I am looking forward to seeing many other fellow postmen and women on my route, as well as Lily Foundation supporters.”

Anyone can donate or support mark at www.sponsorme.co.uk/markpenfold

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