THE Cardiff and Vale UHB's chief executive has set off to take part in the Offa's Dyke Challenge.

Len Richards recently celebrated his first anniversary as the CEO of the health board and is on his UHB. While this week he’s been taking stock and reflecting on his first year in post, doubtless he has one eye on the coming week as his fifth day of the Offa's Dyke Challenge.

Mr Richards will be walking the entire 177 miles of the path over the course of 10 days for charity, and set off on the adventure from Prestatyn on Saturday.

The CEO will be walking an average of 18 miles a day until he reaches the Sedbury Cliffs, near Chepstow, on July 2.

The Offa’s Dyke Path follows the border between England and Wales. It passes through eight counties and crosses the border more than 20 times.

To date, the Cardiff and UHB have had more than 120 people sign up to take part alongside Mr Richards, who will help to motivate him and keep him going.

As part of Mr Richards's training, he started walking to and from work, a healthy lifestyle change that he remained committed to even during The Beast from the East in early March.

The purpose of the challenge is to celebrate the NHS’ 70th anniversary and promote some its core values: namely, the vital importance of teamwork and the positive effects of physical activity and the great outdoors on one’s health and wellbeing.

Secondly, the challenge is a fundraising opportunity for two charities, both of which are doing vitally important work both here at home and in Africa.

The first is the Cardiff and Vale Health Charity which helps with contributions to equipment, research, patient care and more.

The second charity - Improving Chances - supports the running of The Good Shepherd Special School in Fort Portal, Uganda. It was established by Mr Richards and two of his NHS colleagues John and Pat Scampion in 2010 and supports children in the area.

For more information on the two charities, visit and

To sponsor Mr Richards as he walks the length of the Welsh border, visit