David after a rainy walk

Think your commute’s a bit rough? Well, David has given up trains and buses and now walks the 12-mile journey home after work. But it’s not in protest of public transport – it’s all to raise money for refugees.  

David Farrow has a busy, demanding job. For the last four years, he has been working as a medical photographer at Epsom and St Helier hospitals in Surrey.

But after he clocks off work, he now faces a daily challenge before he can go home, eat some dinner and switch on a box set.

Whenever he can, he walks the three-and-a-half hour journey home to where he lives in Reigate.

Why? David is raising money for refugees. He’s doing it by covering the distance someone from Syria would have to walk from Damascus to London, in the anxious search for a safer home.

And he has another 4,060 kilometres (2,523 miles) to go.

Walk in solidarity

David has set himself this challenge to raise money for our Europe Refugee Crisis Appeal. Now a fortnight into the ‘walk in solidarity’, he has already raised over £1,000.

While the support so far has been incredible, David plans to get more people involved over time – perhaps even joining him on a few walks, to get a sense of the point behind the epic feat.

David explains: “It’s impossible to comprehend the fear and uncertainty that these refugees face, so I wanted to take on a challenge that would help me to understand a fraction of what they are trying to overcome.

“Whereas the crisis will be in and out of the news, I hope to give this major issue a platform on a daily basis, by walking as often as I can.”

Feeling lucky

David’s goal is to walk 435km (270 miles) a month, for ten months. He thinks it will take another 42 weeks to complete the full distance – but he’s not giving up, even though the nights are now getting colder.

He says: “At the end of the day, when I’m tired and it’s raining, walking home from work wouldn’t usually be an option – especially in the dark and over the north downs. Knowing there is still so much distance to travel motivates me to do as much as I possibly can for those who are still suffering, desperate for food, water, medication and proper shelter.

“I have waterproofs, comfortable walking boots and a home where I can dry off, eat and sleep. Those are luxuries I know that I am lucky to have – and that’s why I feel so strongly about trying to help. The whole experience, even after two weeks, has changed my perception of just how fortunate I am to have the freedom and safety I take for granted.”

David adds: “The fact so much money has already been raised is simply incredible. It highlights just how much people want to help. All the support and kind words will certainly help see me through into July next year – although right now, that seems a long way away.”