Walk will raise cash for teenage cancer trust

Liz Atkins with her Airedale Terrier Matty, who will be accompanying her on her 11-week charity walk.
Liz Atkins with her Airedale Terrier Matty, who will be accompanying her on her 11-week charity walk.

A Chipping Norton woman is going on a stroll with a difference to raise money for teenage cancer units.

Liz Atkins is taking her Airedale terrier Matty along on her 757-mile walk around the coastal path of Wales.

The pair will be accompanied byMrs Atkins’ trekking friend John Plant, of Cirencester, who is also a long-time fundraiser for the Teenage Cancer Trust, to whom the two will donate the proceeds of their walk.

“I have probably raised about £50,000 for the trust since 1999. I was inspired to do what I could for the trust after the death of Paula Walsh, one of my students at the Cropredy Harlequins’ youth drama group,” said Mrs Atkins.

“Paula was one of the brightest and the best; she died of leukaemia just short of her 17th birthday in 1998. She was treated and died in a ward full of elderly people.

“The Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and chances of survival for young people with cancer aged 13-24 years.

“They fund and build specialist units in NHS hospitals and provide dedicated staff so young people can be treated by teenage cancer experts in the best place for them.”

The Wales walk, starting on August 26 and lasting 11 weeks, will be the longest walk Mrs Atkins has done for the trust. In the past 15 years she has trekked in Kenya, Peru, Patagonia, Malawi, Tibet and the Himalayas.

The walkers will be supported by Mrs Atkins’ husband John and Mr Plant’s partner Lindsay.

Both walkers have strong Welsh connections and will split the proceeds between the TCT unit at Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool, which serves north Wales and one at University Hospital, Cardiff, where youngsters with cancer from mid and south Wales are treated.

To support the venture visit www.justgiving.com/Liz-John-Matty. The target for the trip is £10,000 and over £4,000 has already been pledged.

The venture has a website, www.ploddingon.org.uk and anyone who wants to join the walkers on any part of their journey will be welcome.