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Walker passes through Lowestoft on mammoth charity coastal hike

PUBLISHED: 12:25 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:25 22 February 2018

Jane and Frank Allen get ready to leave Lowestoft and begin their trek into Norfolk.

Jane and Frank Allen get ready to leave Lowestoft and begin their trek into Norfolk.

Archant

“I’m not mad!” were Jane Allen’s parting words as she left Lowestoft this morning to continue on her 5,500 mile walk around the coast of Britain.

Jane and Frank Allen receive a care package from Pakefield Morrison's Community Champion Sheryl Rumble. Jane and Frank Allen receive a care package from Pakefield Morrison's Community Champion Sheryl Rumble.

Commander Allen, 60, is nearly 800 miles into the challenge which is raising money for the Women’s Royal Naval Service Benevolent Trust and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

A former Royal Navy reserve who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Jane was also the leader of the centenary celebrations for Women’s Royal Navy Service last year.

She said: “It is definitely a personal challenge for me and the main aim is a fundraising target of £50,000 but I feel that I am doing this for women.

“It’s 100 years this year since women got the vote. Even if you have connection with the navy or the military it is still to say that women can do this.”

Jane admits that the challenge is too large to do anything other than take it day by day, but after what felt like an eternity in Essex, she admitted delight when she crossed into Suffolk and relief when she finally saw Lowestoft.

She said: “I cheered when I got out of Essex. I was walking towards the beach yesterday and all I could see was low grey cloud but then out of nothing I could see the lights and I could see for the first time all day and I thought ‘oh wow, Lowestoft does exist’ and it has a nice feel to it.”

Jane previously walked from John O’Groats to Land’s End ten years ago.

Explaining her motivation, she said: “I think everyone should have a challenge in life and at least have a go. If you don’t you just have this regret.

“The number of people I have met who have these regrets, you should just have a go.”

Jane’s husband Frank, a Falklands War veteran and former Royal Marine, follows her in their support vehicle; a camper van.

He said: “When I was young I wanted to fly, but I was no good at maths so that was the career gone.

“When I was 50, Jane got me five hours of instruction, which led to me getting my private pilots licence later on.

“Jane gave me that opportunity. For me, this is Jane’s wings.”

The walk began in Portsmouth on the couple’s wedding anniversary and Trafalgar Day, October 21, and they aim to finish by the end of this year.

To donate, you can visit their VirginMoneyGiving page.

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