WALKIES! They say a dog is a man’s best friend. Let’s hope that’s true for 49-year-old Scott Andrews and his German shepherd, Sam, as they plan to walk across the country together.
The pair are set to embark on a trek around the entire British coast next year to raise at least £200,000 for The Children’s Society and the animal charity PDSA.
The hike will see them cover 11,127 miles in six months, heading clockwise around the nation from Roker.
Scott, from Ryhope, is hard at work arranging the trip, despite not being due to leave until March 16 next year.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to it, but it’s takes so much organising.
“I’ve already started my training. We walked to Middlesbrough last week and Sam has been checked out by PDSA and everything’s fine with him.”
The pair are well known locally for their long daily walks and “big teddy bear” Sam looks set to become something of a celebrity as Scott plans to document his journey online.
Asda worker Scott says he is not worried about becoming lonely, as the walk is something he has always wanted to do.
He said: “I’ve never even thought about loneliness. It doesn’t bother me. We usually walk 10 to 15 miles a day anyway and I’ll be seeing places I’ve never seen before.
“We’re hoping to cover between 20 and 30 miles a day, depending on the weather and we reckon by the time the good weather kicks in around May, we’ll be down in Cornwall.”
Asda have given Scott a career break, for which he is very thankful and he says he is already attracting the attention of the national media, who hope to cover the mammoth walk next year.
The supermarket chain is also contributing to the fund-raising, with Scott pledging to visit stores throughout his trek.
Booking hostels is the priority at the moment, although four in the south have refused to allow Sam to stay the night. Scott is also exploring the possibility of supporters of the two charities putting the intrepid pair up for the night.
Anyone wishing to support Scott and Sam can visit the Children’s Society or PDSA’s shops in Blandford Street in Sunderland city centre for more information.