A group of friends from Newport are aiming to complete the Wales Coastal Path before they turn 70.

Among those members, Simon Palmer, 68, originally from Newport but living in Stoke-on-Trent, is readying himself for a grand endeavour meant to raise funds for Parkinson's UK.

The group, known as Taking the Long Walk Home, formed of long-time friends including Stephen Wilson, Ian Agland, Nick Gartside, Jean Sweet, Lesley Thomas, and Crawford Brown, also 68, and hailing from Newport, will take on a series of coastal walks along the Wales Coast Path, starting their trek from Holyhead, Anglesey.

The group has already accomplished an impressive feat, covering 580 miles of the 870-mile coastal trail as of date.

Their goal is to wrap up the remaining distance by the time they hit their 70s.

The plan for the period between June 27 and June 30 is to cover 30 to 40 miles.

The challenge first took off in May 2021 and the friends successfully ended 2023 by covering 520 miles in total.

Other members actively involved in the challenge include John and Catherine Leech, Judith Dudley, Jan and Geoff Bateman, Janet and Ian Algar, and Anne Wilson.

Notably, Chris Dudley’s brother, Nick, who is living with Parkinson’s, is contributing to the group's effort to rally funds in support of Parkinson's UK.

The group aims to cover the full Wales Coast Path by 2025 to 2026.

Thus far, they have raised more than half of their £1,500 target.

Mr Palmer, who holds a personal connection to the cause, explains the motivation behind their feat.

"Our friend, Chris Dudley, has a brother who was diagnosed with Parkinson's six years ago.

"Before his diagnosis, Nick was enjoying his retirement to the fullest, engaging in activities like going to the gym, playing bowls, and fishing.

"Now living with Parkinson’s, this has significantly affected his mobility and without his driving licence, this has really impacted his independence," Mr Palmer said.

"The support we’ve received from Parkinson’s UK, including their helpline and local support groups, has been so helpful throughout this journey.

"Our walks around Wales are more than just physical challenges; they are a testament to friendship, resilience, and the power of community," he added.

By selecting Parkinson’s UK as their charity, Mr Palmer and his team want to extend their gratitude towards the organisation that has been a pillar of support for their loved ones.

The funds raised from this challenge will be earmarked for research to understand Parkinson's and work towards improved treatment options.

It will also bolster Parkinson’s UK’s extensive support services, including groups, helplines, and advisors.

Alison Cope, community fundraiser for the West Midlands at Parkinson’s UK, expressed her gratitude.

"We are extremely grateful to Simon and friends for bringing awareness to Parkinson’s and raising money for Parkinson’s UK," Ms Cope said.

"We hope that this fundraiser inspires you to get involved with Parkinson’s UK.

"Without the generosity of people like you, our work would not be possible."

To show your support for the group's challenge, visit JustGiving and search for Simon Palmer.