By Matthew Cole

A MAN who has survived prostate cancer will put himself through his paces when he tackles a 32-mile sponsored walk in aid of Brighter Futures next month.

Former computing lecturer Ray Burcham, 67, of Cheney Manor, hopes to raise awareness of the charity's efforts to establish a radiotherapy unit in Swindon as he takes on a route from Churchill Hospital in Oxford, where patients currently have to travel to receive treatment, all the way back to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.

Ray told the Adver he hopes a local radiotherapy unit will "save patients from travelling for so long", enabling them to return home from treatment earlier in the day.

Diagnosed with prostate cancer shortly after taking a standard blood test, the avid walker said he felt lucky to have identified the condition in its early stages. He is is on the his to making a full recovery. His advice to other men is: “Make sure you check.”

Ray’s good friend Peter Mainwaring completed the same Oxford to Swindon journey with friends and family last year, successfully raising £8,700 in the process.

Despite being daunted by the 32-mile stretch, Ray remains ambitious. He said: “You’ve got to have something that pushes you.”

That ambition extends to the fundraising target itself, as he aims to hit five figures in unison with Peter and other walkers this year.

In order to keep in shape, Ray walks regularly with Peter and occasionally plays football with friends in Stratton. He hopes his son-in-law will join him for the walk, and is planning to motivate him with the offer of a bottle of champagne.

Barnes Coaches are arranging free bus transport to Oxford for 7am on April 21, giving fundraisers time to complete what is expected to be a challenging 13-hour walk. A break for lunch will be held at the 17-mile mark, and walkers of various abilities are encouraged to enter at different sections if they feel unable to complete the entire route.

On his fundraising page, Ray says: "Any contribution you feel able to make would be most welcome. I anticipate doing at least 20 miles – and maybe on the day could be inspired to do... 21?’

To donate to Ray’s charity walk, visit