Plaistow man completes 300-mile walk while pulling 50kg cart for charity

A man from Plaistow has completed a gruelling 300-mile charity walk from Chester to West Sussex while pulling a 50kg cart.

Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 11:55 am
John Yates from Plaistow starts his 300-mile walk from Chester Military Museum in aid of Brooke, a charity for working horses and donkeys SUS-191119-105636001

Starting from Chester on Saturday, September 28, John made his way through Shrewsbury, Kidderminster, Worcester, Gloucester, Cirencester, Swindon and Salisbury before reaching his home Tuesday, October 29.

The cart was designed by John himself to act as a mini-camper-van, providing him with a bed to sleep in each night

Wet weather and winds meant that John’s challenge was even tougher than expected, but he has so far managed to raise almost £1,700 in aid of working horse and donkey charity, Brooke.

He said: “Having completed similar endurance challenges in the past, I was prepared for the physical demands. However, the rain made things really difficult. Getting into a wet bed in the evening was pretty horrible!”

However, it was John’s interactions with members of the public which made his journey worthwhile, with many stopping to hear about Brooke’s work and even buying him breakfast on several occasions.

He said: “I knew that people would be generous but I didn’t expect to meet so many people who wanted to discuss animal welfare in general.

“I’m generally quite an introverted person and could probably live quite happily on an island on my own but it was amazing to meet so many people, and having the opportunity to talk about subjects I’m passionate about was so rewarding. It made the cold nights and damp days worth it!”

A particularly poignant section of the route was the day John spent in Salisbury, the birthplace of Brooke founder Dorothy Brooke, on Friday, October 25.

Here, he was met by the charity’s CEO, Petra Ingram, who joined John for an afternoon of walking and discussion.

Throughout the challenge, it was John’s priority to highlight the contribution of working horses, donkeys and mules around the world. In developing countries, people rely on these animals to transport water, food, heavy bricks and other building materials every day.

John said: “It’s not just about raising money, it’s about raising awareness. People were shocked to hear that there are 100 million working horses, donkeys and mules around the world!”

Brooke works across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America to make long lasting improvements to the lives of these animals and the people who depend on them.

Looking ahead, John is already making plans for his next fundraiser. He said: “I’m going to redesign the cart for next year. Having spent three weeks sleeping in it, I’ve got a few ideas on how to improve it! “Next year, I want to have a broader focus on rescue animals and highlight several smaller charities and the amazing people who volunteer their time.”

You can still donate to John’s challenge at

For about Brooke, visit