Former Masterchef contestant to do 15-day walking challenge for Morecambe charity

A Morecambe chef is undertaking a mammoth trek including wild camping to raise money for the Team Reece charity.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 3:45 pm
Ben Vandenbrink.

Ben Vandenbrink sets off on Friday July 9 to walk the 182 miles from St Bee's to Robin Hood's Bay - a trip which will take him 15 days.

Along the way Ben will be wild camping instead of staying in hotels, with all his cooking done in the wild.

All money raised from the event will go towards Team Reece, the charity set up by Overton schoolboy Reece Holt who passed away in January 2019 after fighting brain cancer for several years.

The walk will raise funds for Team Reece, which was set up by Overton teenager Reece Holt before he passed away.

Team Reece aims to fund research into childhood cancer as well as supporting other youngsters fighting the disease.

Ben announced his intentions saying: "So stupidity and bravery in my book are the same thing.

"I've decided to take up this challenge as a personal goal for myself, lockdown posed a fair few challenges for me, I lost my job, I lost my self confidence and in general felt lost...

"I want to contribute to the bigger picture and whilst working on myself I'd like to ask for donations to my chosen charity.

"You know my relationship with Team Reece is a deep one...contribute to something worthwhile and wholehearted.

"Reece would have loved this, as I said at the Winter Gardens in 2019...who wants to live forever...Reece can live forever...we remember him with things like this."

Ben has worked in the hospitality industry for 20 years, including a stint in London, and previously worked at The Gatehouse, The Water Witch, and then as sous chef at The Sun Hotel, before becoming head chef at The Water Witch in 2014.

He opened 18 Degrees North upstairs at The Palatine in May 2019, which has since closed.

He also appeared on Masterchef: The Professionals in 2018.

Ben has so far raised half of his £1,000 target, and you can donate to the cause here.