A hike for Hazel’s Heroes – a grandfather’s quest on BBC Spotlight tonight

A grandfather is hiking the entire 630-mile South West Coast Path in a quest to honour his granddaughter who died suddenly when she was just 3 months old.

David Hatto, 73, felt helpless to make a difference to the lives of his son and daughter-in-law, after they lost their daughter Hazel to Sudden Infant Death syndrome. His daughter-in-law Gillian, has since set up a charity in her memory, Hazel’s Heroes, which enables families that have had a similar experience to take a break and helps them grieve.

David, who's from Jasper, Alberta Province in Canada, says on his blog: "So that’s where I come in and my adventure begins.  Organizing a society and providing retreats at little or no cost to grieving families requires financial support to ensure its success. My passion has always been outdoor activities, especially canoeing and hiking, and I try to share this passion with my grandchildren. My goal is to take each of my grandchildren on either their first backcountry hike or on their first extended canoe trip. That is why I am going to England in April so that I can paddle the length of the River Thames and then hike the 630 miles of the South West Coast Path as a fund raiser for Hazel’s Heroes. This is the first of my trips with Hazel and she will be with me whenever I go out with any of my grandchildren."

BBC Spotlight South West went to meet him on the Coast Path earlier this week and this will be shown on tonight’s BBC Spotlight at 6.30pm (Thursday 29th June).

The South West Coast Path Association’s Supporter Manager, Emily Stokes, was also interviewed about why people walk the Coast Path for charity and this will also be broadcast tonight.

For more information about David’s charity trek. visit his blog at or visit his GoFundMe page at You can also donate directly to the foundation by searching @HazelsHeroes on Facebook.

Published on: June 29, 2017