A Petworth woman is swapping Christmas decorations, turkey and all the trimmings for walking boots and a map of the South Downs Way in a bid to give her festive season more meaning this year.
Rose Beddington has decided to spend the Christmas holiday walking the length of the South Downs Way to rise money for the charity Children on the Edge.
She will be setting off on December 22, walking the scenic route which stretches from Winchester to Eastbourne and the 100-mile charity trek will take Rose through the Christmas period.
“I wanted to do something different at Christmas which would have meaning for me and for others in the wider world,” she said.
She is fundraising for Children on the Edge, a small charity based in Chichester, which helps forgotten children living outside their societies worldwide. Its work extends to slum communities in Uganda, Syrian refugees in Lebanon, displaced families in Kachin State, Myanmar and ‘untouchable’ Dalit children in India.
Rose said: “Refugees have been on my mind for a good couple of years.
“I felt impotent, so the walk has evolved from me thinking, how can I help these people?”
She has donated to Children on the Edge for several years, knowing that due to their low operating costs, every pound raised makes a huge difference to those most in need.
She will be staying with friends along the route, who have offered to ferry her to and from the South Downs Way.
Amy Rook who is fundraising and communications officer for Children on the Edge, said: “We rely on local support from individual fundraisers like Rose to raise funds for our work.
“We’ll be cheering Rose on and hope that her passion for our work and knowing the difference she is making will keep her motivated on the harder days or steep climbs!”
Rose will be posting regular updates via Facebook as she goes along and anyone who would like to make a donation can do so by visiting her Just Giving site here
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