A BOURNEMOUTH born man has completed a virtual trek from his hometown of Manchester to Bournemouth to raise money for his local Scout Group.

Graham Curtis, 68, is the treasurer of 250 Manchester (St Mary’s) Scout Group in Droylsden and has been concerned about the lack of funding the group has been receiving since lockdown was imposed.

He used his daily exercise allowance to walk six (later increased to eight) laps of his estate, averaging 5.5 miles per day over the course of 47 days to raise money for the group.

After a few days of taking on the challenge, Graham decided to take it one step further and see if he could reach Bournemouth by the time lockdown restrictions ease.

Every day that passed saw further encouragement shown for Graham from his neighbours and passers-by, receiving shouts of encouragement and donations.

He was welcomed home from his last lap by family, neighbours and members of the Scout Community.

Graham said: "This has done wonders for my mental health as I’ve focused on the walk rather than dissecting the news. It has made me realise that I live in a kind and generous community. I’ve spoken to more people on the estate in the last few weeks than in 32 years of living here. I have been moved to tears on many a night.

"I shall never forget the welcome on the last lap. I hope to be back in Bournemouth for real when I can get there and see my beloved AFC Bournemouth play."

Graham has now raised over £1200 for his local Scout Group.