A FATHER from Dursley is leading a team on a marathon trek across the length of Wales to fundraise for a charity that supported his best friend's family when he took his own life.
Graham Wilkes, 37, is taking on a 180-mile journey from the north of the country to the south, where he will climb Wales’ three highest peaks, including Snowdon, which is expected to take eight days.
Mr Wilkes, from Ryder Close, is undertaking the gruelling challenge with friends Tom Ambridge, David Cottam, and Rachelle Cooper this Saturday to raise money for Winston’s Wish, a charity that assists bereaved children.
He is the godfather to his friend Paul Sim’s three children Katy, William and Emily who along with his wife Liz, were left behind when he committed suicide in December 2012.
Winston’s Wish supported the family during that time and the delivery office manager for Royal Mail’s Yate sorting office wanted to give something back.
Some of the money raised will also be going to mental health charity Mind.
The idea for the walk originated when he undertook a similar charity walk with Paul in 2009 and has already raised over £1,720, with more expected to come after completing their feat.
Starting off at Caernarfon Castle, the route will head through the Breacon Beacons before ending up at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay eight days later.
The father of two-year-old Cerys and husband to Rebecca, 31, admitted they were taking on a “monster” challenge, but was excited to get started.
“Having my own daughter has really hit home for me what the charity has done,” he said.
“I suppose we are a bit apprehensive but excited as well. It’s as unknown quantity as we have never done anything like this before.”
To donate to Graham's cause, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/grahamwilkes