Cranham grandmother to walk 500 miles on 60ft driveway for diabetic chimp

Lesley Dunn on driveway with no10 sign on Monkey World fundraiser

Lesley Dunn with a picture of her adopted chimp Bart while she "walks past" No10 Downing Street - but on her driveway. - Credit: Lesley Dunn

A 70-year-old grandmother from Cranham has pledged to walk 500 miles around her driveway to raise money for her adopted diabetic chimpanzee.

Lesley Dunn and husband John adopted Bart - a resident of Monkey World in Dorset - in 2021 after watching documentary Monkey Life on television.

They only discovered later he has diabetes.

“He has to have an insulin injection every day so I thought that must be costing them [Monkey World] a lot of money…I thought I could try and raise the money,” Lesley said.

After walking the equivalent distance of the Isle of Wight's coastline on her driveway last year, Lesley decided to up the stakes by trying to clock up the 500 miles from Cranham to Dorset in the same 60-foot space outside her house.

Lesley Dunn

Lesley Dunn on her driveway - Credit: Lesley Dunn

“I really enjoy it. I started the walk on December 15, it’ll probably take me until June," she said.

"I’m planning to do between two and three miles a day."

Lesley plans to "walk through" various places around the country on her journey - for example, the couple put a No10 sign on their garage door when she reached Downing Street.

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Speaking of the coronavirus pandemic, Lesley said the couple are shielding "because it’s so bad”, noting they “haven’t even touched [their] grandchildren for nearly two years”.

“When we adopted Bart I got them all a certificate each to say that the family had adopted him,” Lesley said.

The couple hopes to one day take their grandchildren to visit Bart at Monkey World.

Since beginning her driveway walks in lockdown, Lesley has walked 957 miles in total around the small circuit. She described it as a good way to “break the monotony” of shielding at home.

As with her Isle of Wight walk, Lesley said she will be listening only to music recorded by Chesney Hawkes or his dad Chip - a member of 1960s Dagenham band The Tremeloes, who she described as her “favourite band forever”.

Lesley’s GoFundMe goal is £250, of which £220 has already been raised in several weeks.

Donate at https://www.gofundme.com/f/raising-money-for-monkey-world-dorset