A charity fundraiser is embarking on a 2000-mile walk around the UK and Ireland in his swimming trunks.
Michael Cullen – who is known as Speedo Mick – set off from Stornoway on Monday, aiming to walk the length and breadth of the country over the next five months.
The 56-year-old is visiting charities along the way, delivering money he raised on a previous walk before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
He said: “The goals I set myself have got to be way out of reach, not just touching them with your fingertips, but I want them to be way out because I relish the challenge.
“There’s a bit of a crisis going on at the moment. A lot of charities haven’t been able to fundraise and financially some charities have actually gone under, so we want to support them.”
Mr Cullen’s route takes in Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Cardiff and London before finishing in his home city of Liverpool.
He founded the SpeedoMick Foundation last year, aiming to work with disadvantaged young people and those struggling with homelessness and addiction.
He said: “Twenty years ago, I was not in a very good position myself. I was homeless and addicted to alcohol and substances as well. I’d lost my way.
“This is the catalyst of why I’m doing the stuff I’m doing right now because I was given help a long time ago and I turned my life around.
“I had absolutely no hope of doing that and yet here I am giving back to communities and charities and putting smiles on people’s faces.”
Mr Cullen is aiming to walk around 20 miles per day and is visiting charitable causes on his travels.
Mental health charity Catch 23, based in the Western Isles, was the first stop on the tour and received £4000.
Mr Cullen said: “If there’s anyone out there who is suffering – there is a way out but you have to ask for help and you have to accept the help.
“It is amazing what we can do when we accept help. I’m 19 years clean and I’m living my life to the full.
“I’m loving the sun, I’m playing my music on the road and there’s no better feeling.
“This is what fulfils me – not just getting in my knickers – but just giving back and challenging myself because I had no hope and had never completed anything in my life until I got into recovery.”
For more information on Mr Cullen’s fundraising, click here.
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