Man walks 'London to Rome' – in the field behind his house

Hampstead Garden Suburb's Michael Jacobs

Michael Jacobs crosses the finish line - Credit: Amy Mace

A Hampstead Garden Suburb man has completed a year-long fundraising trek of more than a thousand miles.

On April 27, Michael Jacobs completed his journey totalling 1,128 miles – the equivalent distance of London to Rome.

The 73-year-old first set off last April and has raised £13,652 for Nepal children’s charity Kidasha.

Clinically-vulnerable due to a health condition, Michael needed to complete his trek while staying safe, so he used a secluded field behind his house. He completed 12,500 laps - 2.6 million steps.

The retired tax lawyer is a former chairman of Kidasha and after his retirement in 2013, he began embarking on more charity treks with his wife, Ruth.

Since 2006, he has walked through Nepal’s Himalayas and Annapurna mountain ranges, as well as reaching Everest Base Camp in 2008.

The couple, over the years, have raised in excess of £260,000 through personal challenges, appeals and advocacy with some charitable foundations.

Hampstead Garden Suburb's Michael Jacobs at the end of his 1,128-mile trek

Michael Jacobs at the end of his 1,128-mile trek - Credit: Amy Mace

Michael said: “My wife and I walked from Siena to Rome for real in 2008 as our last major international training challenge before trekking up to Everest Base Camp, so retracing our steps has brought back wonderful memories.

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“My local community, my sponsors, and my wife have all been so supportive of my journey, and I’m proud that I’ve been able to complete this challenge in a little over a year, despite facing several health challenges along the way. 

“The pandemic has been tough for everyone, but the vulnerable families and children of Nepal have been faced with extreme hardship. I’m glad that our efforts will be able to raise awareness of those living in extreme poverty, and provide support to those that still need it.”

The funds raised will support Kidasha’s work to improve the lives of children living in chronic poverty in Nepal. This includes working to end child exploitation by providing homeless children with safe shelter, supporting children into education, and working to create new opportunities and help the most marginalised escape poverty. 

Hampstead Garden Suburb's Michael Jacobs and Kidasha's Janice Miller

Kidasha CEO Janice Miller and Hampstead Garden Suburb's Michael Jacobs - Credit: Amy Mace

Janice Miller, chief executive of Kidasha, said: “What Michael has achieved is incredible, and it’s been amazing to see his friends and community come together in support of him and Kidasha during what have been such difficult times for everyone.”

To support Michael Jacobs’ fundraising efforts, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mykestrektorome