Severely disabled Huddersfield man Stephen Collins is taking on his toughest ever fundraising challenge this month – walking from Slaithwaite to Castle Hill.

The serial fundraiser has severe disabilities which means every step is incredibly hard work so he usually does his walks around Greenhead Park and Beaumont Park which are reasonably flat or have slight inclines.

But he’s now helping Colne Valley charity Ruddi’s Retreat and is to walk 7.5 miles from its café in Slaithwaite to Castle Hill, including scaling the foreboding Lockwood Scar which is arguably Huddersfield’s steepest street.

The route is so daunting Stephen has now dubbed his challenge ‘walking against all odds,’ especially as doctors told his parents he would never walk.

He’ll be doing it on Saturday, April 20, 2024, the day before his 65th birthday, and has a JustGiving page but would ideally love to have a main sponsor too who could perhaps add a few hundred pounds.

Stephen will set off from Ruddi’s cafe in Slaithwaite at 8.30am and it would be great for people on the route to cheer him along as he passes on April 20 and pop money into his collection tin.

Stephen’s aim is to raise £1,500 and the total so far stands at £875. People who have already donated have left some wonderful comments.

David Curtis said: “We wish you all the very best for your amazing challenge. You are an inspiration. Hope the weather is kind to you too.”

Sarah H added: “Came across you on Tik Tok. I really admire what you are doing. You are an absolute star, so inspiring. Keep up the good work. Well done to you, sir.”

Stephen can be contacted through his Facebook page and aims to live stream the walk which he’ll be doing with supporters – family, friends and people from Ruddi’s Retreat.

He thinks he can do the challenge in five hours, although accepts it may take him a few more.

“It will be really tough and I expect to spend most of my birthday in bed recovering,” said Stephen. “This one will push me to my limits. I feel that if I don’t use my legs I’ll lose them so I have to keep going. That’s what I’ve always done in life and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

Stephen, of Longwood, has cerebral palsy and doctors told his parents when he was a baby he would never walk but, continually encouraged and supported by his parents, Stephen certainly proved the medics wrong. He uses an aluminium rollator made by global company Rehasense to support him and help him to walk.

The route will see Stephen walking from Slaithwaite down Manchester Road and then up Park Road West to Crosland Moor before dropping down Park Road and Swan Lane into Lockwood. Then it’s uphill all the way to Castle Hill on Lockwood Scar, Church Lane, Jackroyd Lane and the perfectly named High Lane.

He’s putting himself through all this to help Ruddi’s Retreat which provides free caravan breaks for families with children battling serious illnesses such as cancer, have life-limiting conditions or have suffered bereavement. The charity has four caravans on the Primrose Valley Holiday Park near Filey and a fifth near Blackpool.

Stephen said: “They are a local charity and I know they will really appreciate my efforts.”

Ruddi’s Retreat assistant manage Vicki Green, who will be doing the walk with him on the day, said: “Everyone at Ruddi’s is completely in awe of Stephen and we cannot believe he is doing this mammoth feat for our charity. When we first met Stephen we were blown away by his outlook on life and his attitude towards his cerebral palsy.

“He is one of the funniest, upbeat and positive people we have ever had the pleasure to meet. The more people who can get behind him and support his fundraiser the more it will boost morale. If there are any businesses that want to get involved please do get in touch to find out how they can help.”

Stephen has previously done sponsored walks – including 35 miles in a week around Greenhead Park – to raise thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK after losing both his dad, Walter, and sister-in-law, Maureen, to cancer.

Stephen was well-known as an entrepreneur, running his own successful mobility equipment business, Lazarus Mobility, and was mentored by Dragons Den star Duncan Bannatyne. Now retired, Stephen spends his time tinkering with his treasured collection of Jaguar motorcars.

In 2018 Stephen suffered a badly broken leg in two places when he tripped, fell and then became trapped beneath a door on an industrial unit.

Stephen is married to Sally and they have a grown up daughter Rose.

To support him go to his JustGiving page at

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.