Lisburn Man Walks the Perimeter of Northern Ireland for Local Cancer Charity

On Wednesday 26th of June Stewart Barbour, 71, arrived back to Belfast City Hall to applause, having walked the entire perimeter of Northern Ireland in 23 days. Not one to shy away from a challenge, Stewart racked up over 520 miles on the challenge, walking an average of 23 miles a day, all to raise vital funds for local cancer charity, Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.

Stewart Barbour arrives in Belfast after 23 day, 520 mile walk around the perimiter of Northern Ireland


“It’s not for the applause, it’s for the cause” is a common phrase you will hear from the Lisburn man who has raised almost £40,000 for the local charity throughout all his impressive fundraising endeavours over the years. His activities have included walking the length and breadth of Ireland, releasing a book, and being a familiar face at Belfast City Marathon. This Perimeter of Northern Ireland challenge looks to be one of his most successful fundraising initiatives, so far raising £5500 over the three weeks with donations still pouring in and likely to surpass the £7000 target. Stewart’s commitment to raising awareness around the charity’s impact is unwavering, choosing to carry a huge rucksack displaying the Cancer Focus NI logo and branding proudly during each challenge. He is hard to miss in his sea of teal and is well known throughout the country for his positive demeanour and passion for the work of Cancer Focus NI.


Stewart reflected on the challenge and praised the local people he met along his journey for keeping him going, he noted: “It was a tough three weeks with some unforeseen challenges such as weather and difficult walking conditions, but it was the generosity and curiosity of the public I encountered along the way that kept me going. Raising awareness of Cancer Focus NI and the fantastic work they do to support local people and their families who are on their cancer journey is so important, and if even one more person knows about the vital services they provide, then every step and blister has been worth it.”


He continued: “I continue to be inspired by the local community and how willing they are to give anything they have, to support a worthy cause. Donations help support the charity’s counselling, family support, and patient driving services which are vital to someone coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis. That’s what keeps me going.”


Upon returning from his triumphant trek, Stewart was presented with an Outstanding Fundraiser award by Cancer Focus Northern Ireland’s Chief Executive, Richard Spratt. Richard praised the fantastic achievement by Stewart and reiterated the importance of enthusiastic fundraisers and the difference they make to local charities.

Stewart Barbour with Cancer Focus NI Outstanding Fundraiser Award


Richard noted: “We can’t thank Stewart enough for his ongoing commitment to Cancer Focus NI. His determination and efforts have seen him raise a phenomenal amount, which will go so far in providing vital services to local people who are dealing with the devastating reality of a cancer diagnosis. It bears repeating that without the support and generosity from local people and the community, we wouldn’t be able to support the 1 in 2 people who will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, in Northern Ireland. It is through the passion and enthusiasm of local fundraisers, just like Stewart, which will see us open five new and bespoke Cancer Support Centres across Northern Ireland, with the first of these opening in Enniskillen in the coming months.


Richard continued:The ripple effect of the awareness, and exposure achieved by Stewart every time he puts on his Cancer Focus NI t-shirt and walks in our name is impossible to quantify, but the benefits will certainly be felt by us for years to come, and that is something we are extremely grateful for.”


Cancer Focus NI has several vital support services to help local people and their families affected by cancer. The charity also offers a range of health improvement services including the Keeping Well vans, stop smoking service, schools’ programmes and skin cancer prevention work, and funds local pioneering research.


To learn more about how to plan your own fundraising events or what events are coming up please visit or contact the fundraising team at