Northern Ireland schoolboy, Ben Dickinson, takes off today on his ten-day ‘Ben’s Miles for Meals’ charity trek from Inver Park to Old Trafford, in aid of food poverty charity, FareShare.

FareShare collects surplus food from multiple industries and redistributes it to numerous charities and foodbanks in Northern Ireland, and across the rest of the UK, tackling hunger in the most vulnerable communities.

By walking from his hometown of Larne in Northern Ireland to the iconic home of the Red Devils in Manchester, the ambitious ten-year-old, inspired by his own footballing icon and FareShare UK ambassador, Marcus Rashford MBE, is hoping to raise enough money to fund 50,000 meals for the charity and change lives across the UK.

Speaking ahead of his first steps, Ben commented:

“Since launching Ben’s Mile for Meals, the support I’ve received from friends, family, Greenisland FC teammates, local businesses, and famous faces, has been brilliant.

“I’m already well on course to reach my target of 50,000 meals but hope my walk to Old Trafford will get me over that line.

“I just can’t wait to get started now and enjoy the next ten days!”

Joining Ben on the first leg of his journey from Inver Park are senior squad members from Larne Football Club, Jane Gregg, daughter of Northern Ireland legend Harry Gregg,  representatives from FareShare NI, and friends and family, with further supporters joining the schoolboy throughout the rest of the ten-day trek.

The mammoth walk will culminate with a hero’s welcome for Ben at Old Trafford on Saturday 12th March as Manchester United take on Tottenham Hotspur.

Looking ahead to Ben’s arrival in Manchester, John Shiels MBE, Chief Executive of Manchester United Foundation, said:

“What Ben is doing for FareShare is truly inspirational. We are passionate about celebrating young people and providing them with the opportunities to create social action in their communities. In a post-pandemic world, it has never been so important.

“We wish Ben all the best on his journey and look forward to welcoming him over the finish line at Old Trafford.”

Hotel Football will host Ben and his family throughout the walk, with media interviews set to take place at the hotel during the week-long period leading up to Hotel Football’s match-day hospitality event ahead of the game.

Director of Sales and Marketing, Jessica Southworth, said:

“We are delighted to be involved in Ben’s Miles for Meals campaign and wanted to do everything we possibly could to support at Hotel Football.

“As we are located in close proximity to Old Trafford, we felt it was only right that we supported what is such an incredible cause and are really looking forward to welcoming Ben to Hotel Football following such a huge achievement.”

Ben’s Miles for Meals campaign has already received support from key figures including Sky Sport’s pundit and former Manchester United player, Gary Neville, Manchester United legends Bryan Robson and Norman Whiteside, and Larne FC owner and business supremo, Kenny Bruce.

Donations have also flooded in from local and national businesses such as Donnelly Group, Boomin, Pro ID, Stena Line, Club Sport NI, LM Creative Media, and Manchester-based distribution company, Lomas Distribution, as well as individuals globally, inspired by the Larne youngster’s kind-hearted nature and determination to make a difference.

Speaking of the campaign’s success so far, James Persad from FareShare UK said:

“Ben’s enthusiasm and determination are truly inspirational. We couldn’t be more grateful for his incredible efforts. The money he’s raised will get food onto the plates of families and children across the UK.

“Thank you Ben and best of luck on the walk!”

For more information on how to support Ben’s Miles for Meals, visit or to donate £10 towards the FareShare charity, text BEN to 70490.