Not content with having raised more than £100,000 already, now the shooting community?s own resident super beater has set his sights on a £1million target.
The coming few seasons will be busy ones for Barry Atkinson (inset) and his ?Spider?s Appeal? after he announces the final mammoth step in his fundraising journey, which began in 2003, on the National Gamekeepers? Organisation (NGO) stand at this year?s CLA Game Fair.
Barry has already raised £102,400 for the NGO?s Charitable Trust and Cancer Research UK, and has broken three fieldsports records for beating on 286 different shoots throughout the UK. His new aim is to beat on no less than 1,000 shoots in total, in 100 counties, and to reach that magical figure of £1,000,000. Despite his extensive travels so far, he aims to reach the total of 100 counties by visiting shoots in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which total 97, and top them up with further shoots on the Isle of Wight and the Outer Hebrides.
Barry told ST: ?I am extremely intimidated about this but I think it?s necessary to be exceptionally ambitious in order to get the mass support from people. The problem is, having set such a big target, I know what problems lie ahead: the build-up of fatigue, illness, travel and so on. We just have to keep our fingers crossed that the man upstairs keeps smiling down on us as he has done so far. In terms of motivation, there are a number of things that spur me on. I?ve had such wonderful support and the response to both these causes has been great. The appeal really has restored my faith in humanity. My father would have loved to have done such a trip, but unfortunately he died of cancer aged just 62. This is one way that people can help and hopefully by funding research we can help people with this awful disease.?
Unfortunately, though Spider will be doing the trip in name and spirit, he is now 14 years old and recovering from having a cancerous tumour removed. His place will be taken by Bay, his six-year-old offspring. All the money raised will be divided equally between the NGO Charitable Trust and Cancer Research UK, but Barry is looking for corporate support to assist with expenses. If you would like your shoot included in ?Spider?s 1,000? or wish your company to be involved, visit Barry at the NGO stand (E745) at the Game Fair or contact him directly, tel (01636) 636377.