Colin Bell, a story of perseverance

Colin walked 1,130 miles and raised an incredible amount of £25,000 for families affected by disaster and conflict.

Colin Bell is an ultramarathon runner, Rotary member and volunteer for ShelterBox.

He’s been fundraising for ShelterBox since 2014, when he first ran a marathon carrying a ShelterBox to fund desperately needed shelter around the world.


The following year he set himself the challenge of running 2015 km – the equivalent of an amazing 48 marathons – often with his trusty ShelterBox strapped to his back!

Almost three years later, Colin took on his greatest challenge yet…

dedicated to a good cause

On 16 October 2018, a team of ShelterBox staff cheered Colin across the line in Land’s End at the end of his fundraising JOGLE.

Colin had set himself the challenge of walking from John O’ Groats all the way to Land’s End with a ShelterBox strapped to his back.

He had set off in June 2018, and his journey lasted 78 days in total. From extreme heat to shivering cold and pouring rain – Colin went through it all.

And despite going through some very hard times and having to stop and recover from an injury, he completed the journey in 78 days. In that time he covered an overall distance of 1,130 miles on foot, via the three peaks – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon.

His journey provoked many remarkable moments of kindness and support along the way.

From the people who woke him with a bacon sandwich to send him on his way, to fellow Rotarians who turned out to wish him well.

Rotarians came to my aid, giving me a meal, carrying my gear onto the next stopping point or giving me a bed for the night. Some even went on to carry out additional fundraising.

Colin carrying a ShelterBox on his back
Colin during his visit to our HQ in 2018

a lucky encounter

Colin carrying a ShelterBox on his back
Colin Bell with the ShelterBox on his back.

Perhaps the most notable encounter was with Chris Lewis, who spotted Colin walking past his house with his box on his back and popped out to ask

Bowled over by Colin’s efforts, Chris put up a post on Facebook, asking his followers to ‘help make this great man go viral!’

Nearly 150,000 people obliged, and Colin finally went viral.

That was a major confidence boost for Colin, who, at the time, had been struggling with the challenge.

See the Facebook post

thank you Colin

Colin managed to raise a whopping amount of £25,000 for ShelterBox, helping us reach families all around the world.

Colin’s energy, dedication and determination are an example to us all, especially dealing with the setback of an injury.

His passion translates into helping families all around the world with the essentials after disaster or conflict strikes, and for that, we’ll be forever grateful.

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