Charity canal trek in memory of Jack

A WOKING DJ has raised more than £900 for Shooting Star Chase children’s hospice in memory of his nephew by walking the entire length of the Basingstoke Canal towpath.

Andy Mabbutt and three friends completed the 32 miles in 12 hours after Jack Bruce, who had muscular dystrophy, died at the age of 20 in December last year.

Andy Mabbutt, second left, with Mark and Louise Stuart, who walked the 32-mile Basingstoke Canal towpath with Christine Mabbutt, far left, and Sue Mabbutt, who walked part of the way

Andy and his fellow DJ wife Christine, who walked the first 18 miles of the canal challenge, have raised more than £6,500 for the charity over the past two years by running the musical festival Jackfest.

Andy said he and Christine used the towpath for their daily exercise during the pandemic restrictions.

“We had only done eight or nine miles before, so this was quite a challenge,” he said.

Christine recently had a back operation to treat severe pain and so was unable to complete the whole distance.

“It was about personal challenges,” Andy said.

Andy and friends Louise and Mark Stuart started the walk at 8am from Greywell Tunnel so they would be urged on as they got closer to Woking.

“It was a long old day, and the last five miles were especially difficult,” Andy said.

As well as Christine, others who joined the trio on some of the walk were Andy’s mum Sue and friends Pat Brogan, Myia Hancox, Sophie Porter and Debbie Ginn.

“Shooting Star has been a massive support throughout Jack’s life and for the family afterwards,” Andy said.

The first Jackfest was held at the Fiery Bird venue in Woking town centre in January 2019, and the second one seven months later as a family festival held at Portesbury School in Deepcut where Jack was a pupil since he was 3.

A third concert last July had to be postponed because of coronavirus and has now been planned for 10 July this year at the Holroyd Arms pub in Guildford.

It will feature local bands The Sha La La’s, The TR5’s and Local Pop Hero. Tickets are available from www.eventbrite.co.uk for £10 in advance and will cost £15 on the day.

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