Founder of the cancer support service, ‘Daft as a Brush’ Brian Burnie, 75, is on an ambitious 7,000 mile walking challenge to bring free transport for cancer patients all over Great Britain and Ireland.

Since 5th March 2018, he has been walking the coast of the UK and the island of Ireland to visit NHS cancer centres and hospitals promoting the free service, aiming to create 1,000,000 free patient hospital journeys, nationwide.

To date, He has walked 5,126 miles – Not bad for a pensioner with Parkinson’s Disease.

“From Newcastle, I have walked all of Scotland, the west coast to Ireland, Wales, Devon and Cornwall but when I walked in to Torquay, the terrible news of coronavirus gave me no option – I had to stop.”

Brian and his wife Cheryl returned to Newcastle and the charity walk was put on hold indefinitely. Now, he’s now proposing to continue his challenge – from his back garden!
From next week, Brian will up early; “From 6am I will be walking laps of the garden, I’ve been influenced by Captain Tom and his moving achievement. Hopefully I will reach my end-goal of 7,000 miles-plus.”

walking the garden

Brian plans to notch-up a further 2,000 miles on his doorstep making a total of 7,126 miles walked by September 2020 (the equivalent of walking from Newcastle to Argentina).

“It will take me thousands of circuits of the garden to achieve the extra miles!”

Brian is determined to finish his 7,000 mile challenge for cancer patients.

“I feel very responsible to everyone who has donated money and pledged support to my promise of providing free cancer patient transport nationally. If this is what it takes for me to fulfil that promise, I’ll do it.”

As volunteer for the charity, Brian is fully aware of the issues cancer patients have on a national level, getting to and from hospital on a daily basis to receive their Chemotherapy and / or Radiotherapy treatment.

By replicating the service provided in the North-East of England to all over Great Britain and Ireland, he is convinced his dream of creating 1 million free patient journeys each year will become a reality; “It’s clear to me there is a need for the service all over the country, I have received such positive feedback from both medical professionals and patients. I just can’t wait to start but the walk must be completed first.”

Brian is passionate about the service the charity provides locally for cancer patients and believes this should be available for patients throughout Great Britain and Ireland; “That’s what this walk is all about

Our fantastic volunteers have kept our service going throughout the coronavirus crisis and I truly believe there are others all over the country who feel as passionate as we do in the North-East about helping cancer patients on the road to recovery.”

Brian needs to raise £1m to roll-out the Daft as a Brush service, you can support his challenge by visiting