FOUR men defied the wet, windy and unseasonal weather by taking on an intense walking challenge for a good cause.

Mike Brown, 70, Mark Richards, 60, Sean Hayward, 53, and Dan Perham, 44, walked around 50 miles from Pontypool to Swansea over three days to raise money for the charity Hope GB.

Hope GB is a Torfaen-based support group – run by volunteers – which aim to help families, carers and associates of children and adults with autism and Aspergers Syndrome.

The four men, all from Pontypool, left Pontypool Conservative Club on foot on Thursday, June 13, and arrived at the Cross Keys Pub in Swansea on Saturday.

Mr Richards said: “It went very well. Everyone was so supportive along the way.


“We are all aching a bit now.

“On the first day, it was horrendous, but we plodded along and got it done.

“We had to use the old walkways as you can’t really walk along the Heads of the Valleys Road.

“People were amazed when we asked for directions. It was quite funny to see their reaction when we told them what we were doing.

“Our wives and friends had driven down to Swansea, and they had hung some bunting outside the Cross Keys pub. They wanted us to run through it, but we were too tired.

“We are so grateful for everyone who has donated and supported us.

“One of the members of the club Kevin Jones helped us out carrying are our stuff in his van.

“We are still counting the money but we have raised in excess of £1,000 so far.

“We are going to do another challenge next year. Hopefully the weather will be better.”

They were inspired to support Hope GB by Laura Kendall, who works behind the bar at the Pontypool Conservative Club and has an eight-year-old son with autism.

You can show your support by donating at