Musician raises £5,000 for mini donkeys in 80-mile Norfolk hike

Ian Hÿtch arrived at Cromer to be greeted by Donkeys Bo-Peep and Milly.

Ian Hÿtch arrived at Cromer to be greeted by Donkeys Bo-Peep and Milly. Becky (left) and Lisa (right) are MiniDonks volunteers. Sarah McPherson, (second left) is the founder and MD of the social enterprise.  - Credit: Plain Speaking PR

A 79-year-old musician has raised £5,000 for charity after walking 80 miles in eight days in his 80th year in support of the Norfolk-based charity MiniDonks.

Donkeys Bo-Peep and Milly were brought down to Cromer’s promenade to meet intrepid walker Ian Hÿtch upon his arrival, as thrilled onlookers made donations directly to the charity, which brings gentle and friendly miniature donkeys to community groups, voluntary organisations, dementia groups or special needs groups.

“Just before we got the word that Ian was arriving, we reached the £5,000 target on JustGiving, so Ian has done his walk like a Trojan - he’s achieved his aim,” said MiniDonks founder and managing director Sarah McPherson. 

Ian Hÿtch

Ian Hÿtch was delighted to discover he had met his target of £5000 - Credit: Plain Speaking PR

“I’m feeling absolutely euphoric, because we’ve hit the target. I was walking along and my wife rang me to say we’d reached the £5,000, which was so exciting,” said Mr Hÿtch, who lives in Norwich.

He added that his walk from Knettishall Heath in Suffolk, up to Hunstanton via the Peddars Way and along the coast to Cromer had been “beautiful, so beautiful".


You may also want to watch:


The walk proved even more challenging than Mr Hÿtch had anticipated.

Donkeys Bo-Peep and Milly were brought to Cromer seafront by the charity

Donkeys Bo-Peep and Milly were brought to Cromer seafront by the charity, where further funds were collected by thrilled onlookers. - Credit: Plain Speaking PR

“I hadn’t realised that there was a sort of cumulative tiredness that [had] crept in on Thursday, Friday, and then of course today, it didn’t matter -  I knew it was coming to the end.”

Most Read

Mr Hytch said he had seen the donkeys in action in care homes at Wells.

“The look of joy in the eyes of the residents is just something you can’t describe. It’s amazing how much joy they are bringing to these people,” he said.

Donkeys Bo-Peep and Milly at Cromer

Donkeys Bo-Peep and Milly were brought to Cromer seafront by the charity, where further funds were collected by thrilled onlookers. - Credit: Plain Speaking PR

Mr Hÿtch was joined on his walk by his 24-year-old daughters Kitt and Bethan, and for part of the way by his 18-year-old grandson Moss. 

His wife Jan acted as chauffeur, ferrying the walkers to their start point and taking them home every day.

One of his daughters is studying nutrition at university and had been in charge of Mr Hÿtch's menus to ensure he was “well fed up”.

“We’re going mad now - we’re going to go into Cromer to have some fish and chips,” he said.

To find out more or donate to the appeal, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/manymilesforminidonks 
 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter