Eastwood pub staff to march ten miles in memory of close friend Derek
Passionate staff and customers at an Eastwood pub are set to take on a ten-mile walk through the town in memory of a close friend who took his own life.
A team of walkers from the Dog and Parrot are planning to begin their adventure at 9am on Sunday morning (March 28) as they take on the ‘March for March’ in support of charity Combat Stress.
The group, who have named themselves ‘Nelly’s Heroes’, will be paying tribute to close friend and former veteran Derek Nelson – who took his own life back in January.
Derek was a huge supporter of Combat Stress, which helps former servicemen and women deal with issues like trauma, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Dog and Parrot landlady Kathryn Boam said Derek’s untimely death, at the age of 45, was a shock to everyone who knew him.
She said: “He was a very close friend of ours – we’d known him for 18 years.
"We knew he was struggling after Christmas but he went to work that day just like any other day. And sadly that’s when he took his own life.”
Along with staff and a few loyal customers, Derek’s wife Stacey and best friend Nigel Kay will be also taking part.
The walkers will set off from the pub in Eastwood, marching up to Moorgreen, through Felley Woods, up as far as junction 27 and then back round through Brinsley and Newthorpe.
They will be walking in groups of two or three to adhere to current social distancing guidelines.
Pub landlord David Boam, leading the walk, said: "We’ll have a craic, have a joke and laugh as we normally do and put the world to rights.
"If you see us walking around, chuck some money in the bucket.”
The dedicated team has raised almost £2,000 so far to help fund life-changing mental health treatment for veterans.
To donate to the cause, visit the pub’s fundraising page here.