A man from Launceston is walking more than 600 miles in memory of his late wife, Jan, a “Lanson girl”.
Paramedic Matt Grahame, 55, is preparing to take on the South West Coastal Path in its entirety to raise money to help towards a new hockey pitch for the town the couple called home. The sport was a passion of theirs, with Jan a former player for the Launceston Ladies’ hockey team in addition to being a horse rider at St Leonard’s Equestrian Centre.
Walking the coastal path was a shared ambition for Matt and Jan, and they had planned to undertake the challenge when they retired. However, Matt plans to honour his wife’s memory by undertaking their shared ambition to raise money for the causes closest to their heart.
It is being undertaken in 20 mile increments every day in order to chip away at the 630 mile target.
Matt told the Post about the background of Jan and his love story: “Jan grew up in Launceston and trained as a nurse in Plymouth. I was also at University in Plymouth but we actually met in Essex while working in Southend General Hospital. I was born in Woking and went to school in Wokingham. From there I went to Plymouth polytechnic and then Essex to work as a Paramedic at Southend General Hospital.
He described the couple’s mutual love of hockey, of which the local hockey club will be the main beneficiary of the money raised, saying: “Jan played hockey all her life , from school and all through her life. It’s a sport I took up in around 1997 after Jan and I met. We both have played and umpired hockey over the years.”
With this particular walk being more than just a walk for good causes, what with Matt viewing it as his wife’s legacy walk and in turn helping him get closure on the loss of her life, he described the experiences he’d had in undertaking this challenge. He continued: “I’ve never done anything of this length and this is a massive personal challenge. While we (Matt and Jan) have walked stretches of the coastal path over the years, it’s been nowhere near the 630 miles end to end of this walk.
“So far, it’s been a humbling experience. I’ve already had to push myself hard and channel Jan’s incredible strength. There have been many emotional moments along the way, especially as she should have been here with me, but it has also been enjoyable at times.
“I’ve met some lovely people and experienced some amazing nature.”
To find out more or to contribute to Matt’s walk in honour of Jan visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/matt-grahame-1