To date, Mark has raised £50,000 including matched funding from Royal Mail for charity the Lily Foundation, in honour of his grandson Frankie and others suffering from mitochondrial disease.
The Burnham-on-Sea postman was cheered over the finishing line by a crowd of fellow postmen and women, their families and friends, representatives of the Lily Foundation and many other well-wishers.
Mark, aged 50, started his epic walk in Edinburgh on 27 May 2016, supported by Royal Mail, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and friends of the Lily Foundation. He was accompanied by a Royal Mail van carrying his supplies.
On arriving at the Guildhall, he was thanked by Royal Mail’s Chief Operations Officer Sue Whalley, who said: “On behalf of Royal Mail I want to congratulate Mark on this amazing achievement. Our postmen and women across the UK often go the extra mile for good causes, but Mark has gone an extra 500 miles on this impressive fundraising challenge, following one of the earliest postal routes. I’d also like to thank all the people who supported Mark along the route, including our colleagues, members of the CWU and all those connected to the Lily Foundation. This has truly been a first class effort. We are delighted to provide matched funding of £25,000, helping to significantly boost the funds Mark has raised on this walk.”
The Lily Foundation is a charity close to Mark’s heart. His grandson, 18-month-old Frankie, suffers from the life-limiting mitochondrial disease - a genetic condition that prevents cells in the body from producing enough energy for the body to survive. It can affect any part of the body, including the heart, brain, muscles, eyes, hearing, stomach or kidneys, and has no known cure.
The Lily Foundation funds research to improve diagnosis and increase treatment options for mitochondrial disease, and ultimately find a cure. The charity also raises much needed awareness of the condition and supports families affected by the disease.
Taking a well-earned rest, Mark Penfold said: “I feel privileged to follow in the footsteps of historic postal carriers and raise money for a cause that is so close to my heart. Thinking of my grandson Frankie spurred me on to the finish line and I know every penny I have raised, match-funded by Royal Mail, will be going to help other children like him. I can’t thank Royal Mail, my colleagues and the CWU enough for the first class help, support and organisation in setting up this challenge. I’d also like to thank everyone, including my fellow postmen and women as well as Lily Foundation supporters for cheering me along the way.”
CWU General Secretary, Dave Ward, said: "Mark took on this challenge for a fantastic cause and I am sure colleagues across the UK will join me in congratulating him on his remarkable achievement."
Liz Curtis, Founder and CEO of the Lily Foundation, added: “Mark certainly set himself a huge challenge with this epic walk. We are delighted he has completed his journey in aid of the Lily Foundation. We were there to see him off and to welcome him across the finish line. We would like to thank Royal Mail and the CWU for all their support with this walk. Great job Mark!”
Anyone can continue to donate or support the Lily Foundation at www.sponsorme.co.uk/markpenfold
Source: Royal Mail Group