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Community / Fundraiser leaves Hildasay to resume coastline walk after three-month island isolation

Chris Lewis and Jet.

A FUNDRAISER walking around the coast of the UK has now left the uninhabited Shetland island he called home during lockdown.

Chris Lewis and his dog Jet were given permission to stay on Hildasay to the west of Scalloway to isolate on during his fundraising quest.

He was in Shetland at the time the coronavirus outbreak struck.

Lewis holed up in a small hut house on Hildasay, which has no electricity, heating or water, and received supplies by boat.

The former paratrooper’s stay on the island attracted national media coverage – which no doubt helped his fundraising efforts for armed forces charity SSAFA, which has already attracted more than £143,300 in donations.

He has been sleeping in a tent alongside his dog Jet on his campaign, which started back in Wales in 2017.

Lewis wrote on Facebook that at midday on Friday he stepped back on mainland Shetland for good after spending around three months on Hildasay.

“What an adventure the past three months have been living on our own island during lockdown,” he said.

“I will never forget it! I feel I left a part of me behind when I left and look forward to my return in years to come.”

Lewis added that people had been leaving money for him at the Burra shop for whenever he needed supplies.

“I could go on and on with acts of selfless kind gestures from people I’ve never even met,” he added.

With lockdown restrictions easing for people taking to the water, Lewis said he had started seeing boats arrive at Hildasay, with people coming on to walk around the island – something that was both “strange and lovely”.

He had made some trips off Hildasay during the three months, including to do admin and to walk around Burra when lockdown restrictions eased.

Lewis is now due to resume his walk around the coastline of Shetland, which should total around 100km.

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