Ex-West Boldon postmaster completes Coast 2 Coast as Post Office Horizon campaigners hit £98,000 crowdfunding target
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Christopher Head, who ran the West Boldon Post Office from 2006-2015 from the age of just 18, was among more than 500 members of the Justice for Sub-postmasters Alliance, who won their settlement against the Post Office in December 2019
Now 32, Christopher was among those accused of fraud and theft by the company over the last two decades, due to flaws in the Horizon IT system.
Last week he cycled 136 miles in three days, for those whose lives have been severely impacted by the row.
Leaving Whitehaven in Cumbria at 3pm on Wednesday, July 8, he was welcomed back to Sunderland at 2.33pm on Saturday, July 11 by some of the families campaigning for justice alongside him.
"It was really challenging, on the first day I thought there’s no way I’m going to finish this,” said Christopher, who hadn’t been on a bike for over five years.
"I’ve never been so happy to see the ‘Welcome to Sunderland’ sign. I just kept telling myself I’ve already done so much to try and help the cause, it doesn’t matter how I feel afterwards.”
Christopher – who says he is still paying off debts from his time with the company – has repeatedly called for an independent inquiry to hold those responsible to account, with his UK-wide petition garnering over 5,000 signatures.
But the Justice for Sub-postmasters Alliance recently boycotted a Government review into the company saying members would not settle for “anything less” than an independent judge-led inquiry.
He has raised over £2,500 to help the group fund legal representation to take their complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman – with a quarter of the donations (more than £550) going to support the NHS, mental health services and national food banks.
On Monday, July 13 the group reached the £98,000 target of the Crowd Justice campaign, meaning all future donations will now go to his chosen charities.
If the claim is successful all of the money pledged will be refunded and Christopher’s will be added to the charity fund.
Christopher described it as an “outstanding achievement” and thanked everyone who has supported the campaign.