Doncaster charity walker, 95, with terminal cancer honoured by Boris Johnson

A charity walker from Doncaster with terminal cancer has been honoured by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

By Darren Burke
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 1:18 pm

Alan Bocking raised over £17,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support by walking near his home every day for seven months.

And his efforts have earned him a Points of Light Award from the PM.

Every day of the week, the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational volunteer with the Daily Points of Light Award and Alan was recognised as someone making a real difference in their community.

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Alan Bocking has been honoured by PM Boris Johnson.

Alan, a 95-year-old grandad with incurable cancer, is a well-known face on Doncaster’s Lakeside.

He has walked his half mile circuit everyday for seven months raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Alan had an original fundraising target of £10,000 which he topped before Christmas; he has now raised over £17,000 for people living with cancer.

He was diagnosed with stomach cancer in August 2021, decided against chemotherapy treatment and is now living with the disease.

When Alan was told about the award he said: I’m shocked and very pleased to receive the Point of Light award, I have made so many new friends through walking for Macmillan and I’m so grateful to everyone who donates to the cause.

“With all the sad news in the world my heart bleeds, but I know that what I’m doing will improve someone’s life, make living with cancer that little bit easier and that’s a positive message.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement my family and friends have given me.”

Alan, who had a successful career in sales and marketing, has long been a committed fundraiser for various charities and is driven to help others by his Christian faith. Alan lives by his three passions in life; caring for others, caring for the environment and keeping well through exercise.

Alan, originally from Newcastle, has lived in Doncaster for over 50 years and has always enjoyed walking the Doncaster Lakeside Walk, a route he used to complete twice in an hour. Alan, who now walks with the support of sticks, walks around half a mile of the route per day - approximately one full circular route per week.

Alan was supported by Macmillan after his diagnosis and is motivated to raise money for the charity because of the support he and his family have received, Alan is also the primary carer for his wife Sylvia who is blind.

Alan describes his positivity and “can-do” attitude as the “Bocking Backbone”, something cultivated during his time as a Royal Marine, Alan joined the 42 Marine Commando in 1944 and served as a Marine until 1947.

Fiona Gavaghan, Macmillan’s Fundraising Manager, said: “On behalf of everyone at Macmillan we can’t thank Alan enough, for months Alan has turned up to Doncaster Lakeside in rain, hail or shine because he is driven to raise as much money as he can for people living with cancer.

“At a time when demand for Macmillan services continues to be high it’s never been more important to raise vital funds so that we can deliver the services that people living with cancer so desperately need.

“Alan’s selfless commitment to his fundraising is humbling and it’s no exaggeration to say Macmillan and people with cancer have never needed his help more than they do right now.”