Barrie strides on to national award

A LOCAL 86-year-old man has been given a national award for raising £9,000 for charity by walking nearly 2,200 miles in 11 weeks.

WINNING SMILE: Fundraiser Barrie de Suys, 86, who raised £9,000 for the Royal National Institute of Blind People by walking nearly 2,200 miles in 11 weeks

Barrie de Suys walked an average of 20 miles a day in Victory Park, Addlestone. When the park was closed because of coronavirus restrictions, he went around the perimeter.

A friend set up a JustGiving page for the Royal National Institute of Blind People and Barrie’s efforts raised £7,675 with another £1,325 added from Gift Aid.

He was recently given a British Citizen Award, with the medal delivered by courier along with video messages of congratulations from various celebrities together with an invitation to the House of Lords.

Barrie said: “I was very pleased to get the award. It’s a bit of recognition for what I did.”

Just under three years ago Barrie fell and broke a hip. He had an operation to replace it a few days later and not long after that was going on long walks to help his recovery after reconstruction surgery.

The retired driving instructor, who has two children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, said his family has been impressed by his efforts.

The British Citizen Award was established in 2015, to recognise people who make a positive impact on society. The medals bears the words “For the Good of the Country” and are presented to only a small number of people twice annually.

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