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HMS Ocean is Newcastle or bust

22 February 2017
Via Land's End. And Bristol. And London. And Birmingham. Derby. Sheffield. Manchester. And finally Sunderland. With no money.

Four senior ratings from HMS Ocean plan a seven-day fund-raising odyssey around England to reach Newcastle by any (legal) means - completing challenges along the way set by their shipmates - to raise thousands of pounds for ill children.

Petty Officers Chris Orkney, Kieran Woodward, Jamie Marples and Steve Groves will step off the gangway of Britain's biggest warship in Plymouth on May 12, equipped with just the clothes on their backs, Royal Navy ID cards and a mobile phone.

Seven days later they are expected to arrive at Scott House in the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne with at least £3,000 to hand over to the Children's Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) and the Sick Children's Trust (they've already received over £500 before stepping off Ocean).

The CHUF charity and the staff at Scott House were simply outstanding

Petty Officers Chris Orkney

Each time the quartet complete a challenge, they'll report back to the ship, where Ocean's crew will decide the next task the adventurers must complete - in addition to reaching their next destination.

And the less-than-direct route means they'll be travelling more than 730 miles instead of the usual 400.

The week-long challenge was prompted by doing something to help two good causes which supported Chris' family last summer.

"In September my son Declan had to have open-heart surgery - at the age of just two," said Chris.

"The CHUF charity and the staff at Scott House were simply outstanding and helped me, my wife Nicola and Declan during a very difficult time."

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