It was a mighty challenge and they smashed it!

Lucy Jebson and eight friends completed an incredible 182-mile sponsored walk from Big Ben in London back home to Kirkburton.

The challenge has so far raised an amazing £40,000 which is to be split between four charities. The walk – named Big Ben to Burton – was completed in memory of Lucy’s husband Ben, who died after complications following a cancer diagnosis.

One of the walkers was TV chef Tim Bilton who has had his own cancer battle and was given 12 months to live, three years ago.

Ben Jebson was an inspirational dad-of-two who died aged 35 after a battle with cancer. Back in 2014 Ben, a keen cricketer, was diagnosed with stage 2b Hodgkin lymphoma and, as a fit young man, was told he had an 80% chance of being free of the disease in six months.

Sadly, the cancer proved more resistant to treatment and Ben needed two kinds of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, antibody treatment and an allogenic stem cell transplant. 

Though he was given the all-clear from cancer in May 2016, he later developed Graft v Host Disease as complications set in as a result of the stem cell transplant. That was the start of a long and horrible journey for Ben and his family and he died in 2019.

Ben left behind a young family, including his wife Lucy, 33, and two daughters, Frankie aged four and Bobbie aged two.

At the end of a gruelling walk Lucy and the other eight walkers visited Ben’s grave.

“It was really emotional,” she said. “I don’t go to see his grave every day, I go when there’s an anniversary. To visit him when we were on our way back was just a moment, there were lots of tears. To know we’d walked all that way and had nearly made it back was incredible.

“There is a saying ‘a man is not gone while his name is still spoken.’ As a family we talk about Ben daily but to know that those around us are remembering him too means a lot to all of us. In years to come we can show our girls how much their dad meant to so many people.”

The walkers had an emotional stop at Ben’s graveside

Starting at the famous London landmark on April 9, the team of walkers had a punishing seven-day trek back up to Yorkshire. 

On the walk and how hard it was, Lucy said: “I think I was dehydrated on day two and so day three and four was horrendous. I think as a collective day six was the hardest because we were all hoping the signs for Yorkshire would come quicker than what they did.

“It was a day of just putting our heads down, earphones in and getting through it. One of the early things to happen on the walk was that we bumped into Noel Gallagher. He was kind enough to have a pic with us which was great. We did play a few Oasis tracks on that day after meeting him!

People waiting for the walkers to finish

“By day six people were really suffering and there were lots of blisters. The niggles that we had had in the previous days just became worse. We had to push each other through but no one gave up, no one got in a car and said: ‘I’ll drive the next two miles.’ All nine of us walked every step of the way.”

The challenge had already reached close to its initial £20,000 target before a step was taken, thanks, in large part, to Simon Docherty, of Harvey’s bar and kitchen, who took on the Goggins 4x4x48 challenge last year and raised £11,000.

The walk raised money for The Kirkwood; Hug on a Tray, which provides tea and snacks for patients at St James’ Hospital in Leeds; Barnsley Hospice; and the Anthony Nolan blood cancer charity. Having being initially planned for May 2020, Lucy was just pleased to get back to Kirkburton and raise so much for charity. 

On the amount of money the group have raised, Lucy said: “It’s just incredible the support we have had and thanks to each and everyone of you who have donated.

“I wanted to split a big amount of money between the four but I never thought I’d give this much to them. All four charities mean a lot to us and we are so happy we can support them and what they do.”

Big Ben to Burton

A big well done to the nine walkers:

Lucy Jebson

Adam Wilson (organiser)

Jodie Booth

Robert Barnes

Richard Kettlewell

Paul Blanchard

Tim Bilton

Simon Docherty 

Simon Lockwood 

And their support team for the week:

Robert Wilson

Peter Armitage

Matthew Wood

Jordan Tindle

To find out more about the challenge and how to donate go to