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Marie Avery from Chinnor, is looking forward to the challenge posed by an 18-mile sponsored walk along the famous Ridgeway trail next month.
The 33-year-old, who works as an events officer at Waddesdon Manor, has signed up to take part in the Chilterns Three Peaks Challenge on 18th September, an annual event organised by newly-merged hospice charity Iain Rennie Grove House Hospice Care. The charity provides 24/7 call-out nursing care across the Chilterns for patients with life-limiting illness, giving them the choice to remain at home as long as possible.
Maries says: "I take part in the Race for Life each year but wanted more of a challenge. This event combines a huge personal challenge with a chance to enjoy the amazing countryside where I grew up. I've lived in Chinnor all my life but never really walked the Ridgeway. I remember playing in the hills as a child, so it will be lovely to revisit my childhood haunts with a very specific goal in sight!
"Eight of my close friends took part last year and described it as an amazing experience. So I signed up as soon as I could this year and plan to walk with my mum, Carole, and 4 other friends, Michelle Morgan, Victoria Hunt, Carly Weller and Rose Weakley. We've all been walking the Phoenix Trail, building up in distance from 6 miles - working our way towards the full 18 miles!"
The hospice charity is encouraging all walkers to raise £150 in sponsorship: enough to fund 24 hours of specialist nursing in patients' homes. Marie says: "This is a tremendous cause: to be able to be treated in your home and not to have to go into hospital. My Nan, Barbara, had frequent visits from Iain Rennie nurses. I'm sure the care, support and companionship really helped her in her last few weeks. I know she dreaded a trip to the hospital and to have someone come to her was amazing and in a way made her more at ease with everything.
"One of my close friends also received regular visits from Iain Rennie nurses and the charity's complementary therapy volunteers when she was having chemotherapy. She said the support and the chance to chat things through, combined with massage and reflexology, really helped her."