Milton Keynes fridge hiker completes 24-hour hike for bereaved Armed Forces children

The Fridge Hiker took on another staggering exercise challenge.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 1:09 pm
Updated Friday, 9th July 2021, 1:13 pm

Milton Keynes-based Matthew Bamber, aka The Fridge Hiker, completed a staggering 100km walk in 24-hours to help support bereaved Forces children.

The 46-year-old took part in the Peak District Ultra Challenge on one of the wettest weekends of the year so far (July 3-4), he pushed himself to the limit by carrying a four stone fridge up some of the country’s highest peaks.

In the process of hauling the fridge through a uniquely challenging endurance test, he raised almost £3,500 for Scotty’s Little Soldiers. The charity supports hundreds of children and young people who have experienced the death of a parent who served in the Armed Forces

Matthew Bamber

Due to time restraints, injury and the stormy weather he encountered along his travels, Matthew was only able to complete 54km of the walk. However, he has promised to complete the remaining 50km before the end of the year, and currently has his sights set on the Chiltern Ultra in September.

Matthew said: “This was the first time I’ve done a time restricted challenge and because of the time I set off (9.20am), injuries along the way, and the stormy weather, I was only able to complete 54km of the walk by the 1.15am cut off point. However, I’m incredibly proud to have completed the distance I did and with the money I’ve raised for Scotty’s.

“I learnt a lot from this challenge which I’ll take with me on my next one. As well as being my first time restricted challenge, it was the first challenge that I’ve done alone. Although there were lots of people taking part in the event itself, who were amazing at keeping each other going, I was alone in what I was doing.”

Matthew’s parents, who live close to where the challenge took place, were able to cheer him on from the 25km rest point.

Matthew Bamber

Matthew added: “Seeing my parents, wife and daughter at 25km was a big lift, especially as the weather had been particularly awful up until then. We encountered blue and black skies along the way, thunderstorms and torrential rain, but everyone kept each other motivated.”

He said: “By the end of the walk everyone knew about Scotty’s Little Soldiers. So many people took photos and asked me who I was raising money for. A lot of the people I met on the walk donated money and were just amazed by what I was doing.”

Before he started the walk, a number of Scotty’s Little Soldiers members sent Matthew messages of good luck which he stored in his fridge and took with him on his hike.

“Reading the messages from those brave children really helped me focus” he said. “I read them on a regular basis and mentioned them to anyone who would listen. The first time I read them was when I was about three quarters of the way through, I sat down, got them out of the fridge and started to read them. Even on the walk I couldn’t get to the end of them without feeling incredibly emotional. These children are so brave, and it breaks my heart to think of them growing up without their mum or dad by their side.”

The fridge hiker

Scotty’s Little Soldiers was set up in 2010 by war widow Nikki Scott. Nikki saw the devastating impact the death of her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, in 2009 had on their two young children and wanted to help others in the same situation.

Services offered include guidance to parents and carers, access to professional child bereavement support, personal education and learning assistance (including grants) and holiday respite breaks and group events.

Nikki said: “Matthew has done such an incredible job, I can’t thank him enough for his support. Walking 50km in the weather we experienced over the weekend without a fridge strapped to your back is hard enough so what he’s done is a fantastic achievement. A lot more people will know about Scotty’s now thanks to Matthew and the money he’s raised will make a huge difference.

“Our members have experienced so much at such a young age and every penny raised through fundraising events and challenges like this help us continue to deliver a high level of support to them when they need it the most.”

To donate to Matthew’s Ultra Challenge visit: