Co­me­dian’s tube trek high­lights a se­ri­ous sit­u­a­tion

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

A STAND-UP co­me­dian is tak­ing time out of his hec­tic sched­ule of writ­ing and tour­ing to un­der­take a mam­moth tour of ev­ery Lon­don tube sta­tion that in­cluded a Kens­ing­ton Olympia stop on World Refugee Day.

Ben Van der Velde ( kicked of his tube tour on June 8 and has cur­rently ticked off 132 sta­tions as he is set to tackle most of west Lon­don in July.

Af­ter jour­ney­ing from Wim­ble­don to Kens­ing­ton Olympia on Mon­day (June 20) Ben was at Har­row -on-theHill and Wem­b­ley on June 20, West Ruis­lip and Eal­ing Broad­way on June 28 and will be at Uxbridge and West Har­row on July 6.

He is tak­ing on this chal­lenge of a life­time in aid of char­ity Refugee Coun­cil, which sup­ports asy­lum seek­ers to re­build their lives.

Tak­ing time out on his jour­ney be­tween East Put­ney and Put­ney Bridge the 33-year-old said: “I wanted to do it be­cause of the refugee cri­sis. As they are walk­ing from Da­m­as­cus to Calais I thought it would make sense to walk some of that dis­tance. It’s harder then I thought. The first few days were fine but I’ve had re­ally bad shin splints and my Achilles has bal­looned.”

The jour­ney will take him around 350 miles in the space of a month and Ben has so far raised £2,186 of his tar­get £2,500.

He took up the chal­lenge af­ter he tried­but valiantly failed- to visit ev­ery embassy in Lon­don in 24 hours last year, and this time de­cided to up the stakes. Ben, who lives in Arch­way, North Lon­don added: “I’ve had lots of do­na­tions from people I don’t even know. It’s been re­ally over­whelm­ing how much people have do­nated. I’d love to get to five fig­ures but that might be a step too far.”

Ben is set to pol­ish off the tube trek on July 16 when he walks from Cock­fos­ters to Knights­bridge.

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