A KEEN walker whose life was turned upside down when his brother-in-law suffered a heart attack aged just 45 is walking 275 miles to raise money for the Wiltshire and East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Chris Smith, 50, set off from his home in Pewsey on Sunday to walk to his brother-in-law, Andrew’s home in Shottisham in Suffolk.

Expecting the walk to take him around two weeks, Mr Smith will follow the route of The Ridgeway National Trail, Icknield Way, Stour Valley Path, Stour & Orwell Walk and part of the Suffolk Coast Path.

He was accompanied by his children, Eleanor and Daniel for the first few miles.

Mr Smith said: “All the Air Ambulance services around the country do a fantastic job, all the more so because they are charities funded entirely by donations from the public.

“Thanks to the amazing efforts of the staff at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, Andrew is making an excellent recovery, but all this would have been in vain had he not been airlifted to hospital in time by the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

“This prompted me to think about how I could raise some money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance service and also for our local Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

“I’m not really nervous about the walking itself, but I am nervous about finding safe places to camp every night.

“I first got into walking about seven or eight years ago, and have climbed Ben Nevis and Mount Snowdon in my training.”

Mr Smith is hoping to raise £2,000 for the Wiltshire and East Anglian Air Ambulance services, and has raised over £1,000 so far.

You can keep up to date with his progress by visiting the facebook page Follow My Walk From Wiltshire To Suffolk.

To donate, please visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/cjtsmith