The affectionately named ‘Michael Palin of Gorleston’ – Malcolm Metcalf has returned home after his epic bus journey. Using only his free bus pass Malcolm managed to make his way around England on local buses all in the name of charity; East Coast Hospice.
Recently Malcolm was handed an envelope in the street by a friend of his and told it was towards his bus journey. When Malcolm returned home with his paper he opened the envelope and had to sit down quickly! He couldn’t believe his eyes when he read and re-read the amount! £5700!
A very excited Malcolm couldn’t wait to tell the charity that with gift aid he has now raised over £12780! Malcolm Metcalf says “I was hoping to raise £2000 on this journey for the hospice, but I have been overwhelmed with the public and my friend’s generosity, I can’t believe the total. People keep asking me what I am doing next, well I am open suggestions, but I don’t have any plans for the moment”.
Jeff Wood Community Fundraiser from the charity says “Malcolm is our top fundraiser, the lengths he goes to for ECH, and the passion and support he has shown is second to none. Malcolms epic bus journey was one of those events that ticked all boxes, he had a great time doing it, it took no organisation from us, he achieved it all himself and he raised a brilliant amount!”
Since his return Malcolm has been busy giving talks and sorting out the photographs from his journey, Malcolm is also planning to write his third book, all about his epic bus journey!
Local adventure-seeking pensioner hailed the ‘Michael Palin of Gorleston’ has raised a staggering total of £5571.91 for local charity, East Coast Hospice, who are fundraising to build Margaret Chadd House, an independent specialist Palliative Care facility for the people of Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
Malcolm Metcalf embarked upon his 29 day epic bus Journey around England on the 2nd of April and using only his free bus pass, he managed to travel through 33 counties on 60 buses.
His epic journey received publicity of epic proportions, being followed around the country by journalists, reporters and members of the public wanting to take a selfie with the 82 year old! His positivity is infectious and everyone he has met has hailed him as an inspiration including ITV Anglia, The Oxford Times, BBC Norfolk, BBC Newcastle and the Newcastle Chronical! BBC Norfolk’s Nick Conrad checked in with Malcolm on his radio show for regular updates along the way.
Malcolm funded his own trip staying in B&B’s and eating in cafes along the way and although he loved every minute, it was not without its challenges. “Missed buses, lost wallets and confused timetables are all part of the fun” he said, “everyone was so helpful and I never felt worried”.
In the last few days of his epic journey Malcolm wrote home (to the ECH Office) saying ‘Well the time has flown by during the past few days. What a memorable experience this has been, I still cannot believe all those places I have visited. In a way, I don’t want this wonderful journey to end, as I will never again experience such an occasion as this. So many people have come into my life, some for only a few moments. I have met with so many people who have gone out of their way to help me and I will remember this as one of the greatest journeys of my life’.
A weary but excited Malcolm arrived home on Saturday the 30th April to a cheering crowd at Market Gates Bus Station Jeff Wood (Community Fundraiser for ECH) was there to meet him and couldn’t have felt more proud. “The lengths that our Charity Ambassador Malcolm has gone to for ECH is astounding, not only has he taken us one step closer to raising the roof of Margaret Chadd House but he has spread our mission far and wide and there is no price that can be put on that sort of exposure. On behalf of the charity, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed in any way to Malcolm’s Epic Bus Journey, from packing Malcolm a lunch box for the journey, to covering his story, to donating even a single pound; it is so appreciated, thank you.”
The final figure raised stands at £5571.91, but donations to East Coast Hospice are always welcome via the website: www.EastCoastHospice.org.uk.