A well-known charity fundraiser from Walkden is once again undertaking an immense endurance challenge for The Christie charity – but this time with a new twist. 

Craig Keatley – known to everybody as ‘FlipperKeatz’ for his habit of donning flippers to take part in endurance events – will set out to walk 79 miles from Fleetwood to Manchester – in his slippers! 

Setting off on Saturday 11 July, Craig will walk from the coastal town to Manchester via Blackpool, Lytham and Southport. Having swapped his swim-related footwear for his comfy lounge attire, Craig is hoping to raise even more money for the charity. 

The dad-of-two is well-known for his bizarre fundraising activities which include walking 31 miles from Liverpool to Manchester in his famous flippers last year. Craig has raised more than £7,500 for the charity through his various challenges since 2017. He was also one of the faces of the Christie charity awareness campaign in 2019. 

Craig, 50, said: “I wanted a new challenge and I thought I would mix it up a bit. I definitely think the slipper theme was appropriate after hitting my big 50 last October. People have been so supportive over the past few years whatever I wear on my feet. 

“What I do brings a smile to people’s faces when they see me out and about in my flippers and slippers but this is a very serious message and I’m proud to be supporting the awareness campaign. I know you can’t switch off cancer. 

“We’ve lost friends to cancer and I think it is something that has touched many people’s lives and it is vital that The Christie charity is supported so it can continue to raise much needed funds to help patients.” 

Liz Williams, sporting events manager at The Christie charity, said: “Craig is one of our finest supporters and he really goes the extra mile for us. He brings a smile to everybody’s face with his crazy fundraising events and we are delighted that he is once again taking to the roads to support us. He’s a real inspiration and we are extremely grateful for all he has done for us.

“We wish him the very best of luck on his walk and that he gets some well-earned rest at the end of it.” 

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families. 

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England. 

You can also read more about why Craig supports The Christie charity.