Thomas Sheils & Alfie Duncan are going to the extreme to raise money for a local woman named Claire and her family. I talk to the two men as part one of a two part interview on their upcoming challenge. They will be walking from Big Ben back home to Ellesmere Port to fundraise for Claire. Check out what they had to say.
1. Last year you both grew your hair in aid to raise money for the little princess trust, what reaction from the community have you received?
Alfie- It was excellent and part of the reason we have decided to do stuff every year, we literally grew our hair, the community and everyone coming together made it a success.
Thomas- We literally had everyone talking about it and the cause and our hair all the time. For two lads who had always had short hair (skin heads) then we were both representing
head bands and in the end a top knot, people were always asking us about how it was all going.
We kept everyone up to date over social media with plans for the charity night, the hair cut itself, prizes etc. And each quarter of the year we would put a before and after picture for everyone to see our progress. Since we had the charity night, people were always asking us if we were going to grow our hair again and we've both had mixed emotions about it really.
The whole of the community from Ellesmere Port and friends from outside were amazing, raising £5,000 and donating 10 sets of hair with an amazing charity night, we were never going to complain
2. You both did amazing, it's fantastic to see two young men committing to a cause like that, and you say you want to do an activity every year for charity what has inspired you both to want to do that?
Thomas- I think a few things have inspired us. The amount of money we made was amazing and the attention we got for the cause too! The main thing was the buzz of the whole situation, felt really proud! And we're not badly done to people so we thought why not try something each year
Alfie- Yes for our last one I just thought for one year of your life to just grow you hair could genuinely change a little girls life it isn't a hard thing to do, and no I feel why shouldn't we do something every year. We are fit healthy people and we are able to help, there’s a lot of people out there that need help and do dedicate yourself to one thing a year can really help someone
3. This year you are walking from Big Ben back home, to raise money for your friend Claire who is sadly battling cancer, how did you come up with the idea?
Alfie- We have had the idea for ages and we wanted to do something closer to home and help someone local, then when it came up about Claire an her needs finding to try alternative medicine it all fitted together, it's also something I support and believe In, I believe the answer to cancer is right in front of us and we are not told it because it a massively profitable illness unfortunately My personal beliefs anyway
Thomas- Yes, Alfie came up with the initial idea! A walk home from London, it couldn't be that hard. We said we could definitely go this and we thought it was something that we
could achieve, and what an amazing achievement it would be!
And then we were umming and arring about who we could do it for locally. We've known Claire for years and she's absolutely amazing, so doing the walk for her and her family made sense.
4. Do you feel pressure to hit the same total donations as last year?
Thomas- I decided that I would like to match the same amount as our last fundraiser. We do know £5k is a huge amount of money, but I do think it's achievable if we can share the event far enough and it picks up the interest
Alfie- Haha I do about the 5k mark but I like the way tommy as aimed high, I feel if we push it a little more and try get press to help us an more social media we can do it, but anything we can raise is better than nothing
5. You are doing a practice walk next week, how have you been preparing?
Alfie- I've started walking a bit more, I don't think it's really set in
How hard it's going to be until we do that practise walk, I've kept quite fit all my life and think it's only walking, but I know I'm in for a huge surprise haha
Thomas- Well my part time job role is a gym instructor/coach/personal trainer, with some days I can train up to 3 times a day! I walk a dog for an hour a day and go on four mile runs a couple of times a week. I'm probably not doing enough walking as I should be, but mentally that won't beat us. Physically, we should be ok too!
6. Do you think that it will start sinking in after the practice walk the challenge ahead of you?
Thomas- Definitely! That was the fundamental reason why I said we should do a practice. 25 miles from Whitchurch along the a41, this is more than likely going to be our last section of the walk on the actual challenge too. At least we can see what we're up against and how fast we can walk etc.
Alfie- yes Deffo I wasn't even bothered about doing one so its lucky tommy insisted really, Tommy’s a planner it's one of his good quality’s
7. Tell us 5 items you are each packing on this trip?
Alfie - undies, waterproofs, tooth brush, couple of shirts, bag full of 1 pence coins
Maiden Mother - why the 1 pence coins?
Alfie - To throw at tommy when am Bored
Thomas - Toilet roll! Food! Clothes and footwear, and then ear defenders!
8. Final question what are your predictions for the walk? In the second interview we will see if they were right.
Thomas - We will make it and complete it over 8 days. We leave on Friday 2nd sept and compete our first day from Big Ben. We will arrive home Friday 9th sept in my birthday and we will have a bloody good drink in our wheel chairs! I still need to order them actually
Alfie - predictions- it will be a roller coaster but we will do it and am
Sensing some type of hangover on the route but not sure why, an I'm going say over 7 just to be diff an the winner doesn’t buy the first 4 bevies after the finish line
I can only wish Thomas & Alfie the best of luck on their adventure, please keep an eye out for part two of the interview when they return home!!
Remember to donate! Every penny counts!!!