A BLAENAU Gwent couple have raised more than £700 ‘walking Wales’ from Cyprus.

Laurence Morris, 52, and his wife Julie, 57, from Abertillery, were staying in their second home in Pernera, south-east Cyprus where they walked more than 163 miles for Wales Air Ambulance, raising £779.

They travelled out to Cyprus in September and decided to stay. They are now registered as residents on the island but are looking forward to returning to Wales next month after celebrating their silver wedding anniversary.

The couple were aiming to walk 150 miles in June – the equivalent of walking from Harlech Castle to Cardiff Castle, around 343,000 steps. By June 23, they had completed their Walk Wales challenge and decided to keep walking until the end of the month. They ultimately stopped at 445,000 steps when Mrs Morris needed stitches in her leg after an accident.

Walk Wales was a challenge that allowed walkers to set themselves a target for the number of steps they could achieve in a month from the comfort of their own home. The target would be the equivalent of a walk between two Welsh castles and could be achieved in the home, in the garden, during exercise, taking the dog for a walk or even just going up and down stairs.

Mr Morris, a former officer at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We have been amazed at the generosity of our family and friends by raising £779 for such a wonderful charity; we are truly humbled by it to be honest.

“We’ve received so much support from people in Cyprus and back in Wales not just in donations but in messages of support and we can’t thank those who took time out of the day to do so enough. A little encouragement does go a very long way.

“Also the messages of support throughout have been inspirational and often provided us with a timely boost as we got ready to set off for the days trek.”

The couple also encourage others to fundraise for Wales Air Ambulance. Mr Morris said: “We would encourage others to get involved with this fabulous charity whenever possible so they can keep providing this lifesaving service to our communities across the length and breadth of Wales 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Although we’ve done a little bit to raise money, its really the men and women providing the service that should be applauded.”


Wendy McManus, the charity’s south-east Wales community fundraiser, said: “Lawrence and Julie have raised an incredible £779 for our lifesaving charity. Despite the hot weather they were determined to walk the virtual distance from Harlech Castle to Cardiff Castle, whilst staying in Cyprus. They smashed that target and continued to walk throughout June, until an injury forced them to end their challenge.

“A huge thank you to both of you, you’ve shown that people can take part in Walk Wales virtually from anywhere in the world! Thank you, also to everyone who donated to their fundraiser, you’re all helping save lives across Wales.”

Mr Morris' fundraising for the charity will not end after completing Walk Wales he is hoping to climb Snowdon next year with his friends Stephen Flower, Stephen Mogford and Andrew Goodenough. The men were due to take on the challenge in 2020 but due to the pandemic their fundraiser was put on hold.

There is still time to donating to their Just Giving page at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Lawrence-Morris1 

There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance. These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com