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Teenager puts best foot forward by going the extra 200 miles to help pets in need

Teenager puts best foot forward by going the extra 200 miles to help pets in need

A local teenager is sacrificing a chunk of his summer holiday to do a gruelling eight-day challenge to raise funds for Blue Cross.

Ben Atkin, 14, from Pershore in Worcestershire, will hike over 200 miles across the breadth of Scotland, the equivalent of a marathon a day – with added mountains.

Ben, who volunteers at one of the charity’s nation-wide shops at 27 High Street in Pershore, will be  accompanied by his father, Ian, across Scotland from Portpatrick on the west coast to Cockburnspath on the east coast. A total of 212 miles, the walk will scale the equivalent of 10 mountains and cover 20-30 miles each day.

Passionate about helping pets in need, Ben has been lending a hand to the charity shop for about a year. He helps with sorting out donated stock, filling shelves and checking DVDs and computer games for damage before they go on sale. He even steps in to wear heavy pet mascot costumes on shop open days.

Ian said: “Ben has always loved animals and just wants to do whatever he possibly can to help pets in need. It has actually been a bit of a problem during our training as whenever we bump into an animal of any species he has to stop and say hello.”

While already beating his £400 target, thanks to strong local support, Ben is keen to raise as much as he possibly can towards the thousands of homeless, abandoned, sick and injured pets cared for by Blue Cross each year. Donations can be made through his JustGiving page.

Liz Martin, Assistant Manager at the Blue Cross Pershore Shop said: “We are all just so proud of Ben. He is a dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer in the shop, always willing to help out and a valued member of the team. We hope animal lovers get behind him and show their support by donating to this brave challenge.”

To find out more about Blue Cross, volunteering opportunities, or the pets needing a home visit the Blue Cross website.