On the road for 325 miles...at 78

Ready: Jerome Sullivan sets off on Tuesday
Ready: Jerome Sullivan sets off on Tuesday

a 78-year-old man is preparing to walk across Spain to raise money for his favourite charity.

Jerome Sullivan, now of Huddersfield but who lived in Halifax until just before his retirement, intends walking 325 miles from Burgos to Santiago de Compostela in western Spain.

He flies to Bilbao on Tuesday before catching the bus down to Burgos, where his three-week journey to raise cash for Overgate Hospice will begin.

Although Jerome accepts he can’t walk as far as he once could, he still hopes to do 20 miles a day on the famous pilgrim trial.

“It’s about the sixth or seventh time I’ve done this particular walk and although I used to be able to do it in a fortnight I’d be happy to do it in three this time,” he said.

Jerome has previously done nine sponsored walks for Overgate and currently walks around eight miles a day to keep himself in shape. He doesn’t take any days off once he has started walking.

His adventures don’t always pass without incident. Last year his false teeth fell out and were run over by a car. He later got talking to a local man who not only gave him breakfast but also repaired his teeth free of charge.

“I’ve met some incredible people on the walks I’ve been on in the past and people have gone out of their way to help me,” Jerome said.

“I’d rather be out walking and raising money that will help people rather than sitting in a rocking chair doing nothing. It keeps me out of mischief as well,” he joked.

“I think Overgate is a fantastic charity and is one I really want to be a part of. They do a lot for people and make it a place where people can enjoy life and it’s more than just a place where people go to die.”

Lauren Ingram, from Overgate, said: “We are very privileged that Jerome is undertaking his 10th sponsored walk in aid of Overgate Hospice.

“He has been supporting us for many years now and we are honoured that he is raising money for the hospice while trekking a massive distance of 325 miles. Good luck, Jerome, and thank you.”