Barbara Pope worked for the DREAMBUILDING Campaign for two years so knows first-hand how challenging it is to raise the £15.5 million needed to build the new Hospice, and how much this building will benefit the local community. She decided that she wanted to do her bit to help St Wilfrid’s Hospice DREAMBUILDING appeal by taking on the huge 100 mile walk along the South Downs Way. She walked all the way from Winchester to Eastbourne in relay stages throughout every weekend from 18 July to 5 August.
Keeping all of her supporters updated on her Facebook page along the way, Barbara took time out to post her progress and thank them for their support. There were some relatively gentle walks and some brutal hills along the way, all testing Barbara’s stamina and determination.
When we started this challenge I had no idea just how addictive it would become! On days when we didn’t walk, we missed the Downs and just wanted to be up there again. We saw nature at its best and then there were the views - each time we crested a hill there was a collective Wow! We met some lovely people too, everyone out enjoying our amazing countryside, all to happy to help, direct and advise.
Barbara also mentions how satisfying it was to enjoy a well-earned ice-cream/cake or glass of something when they had finished walking for the day!
On our last day we walked from the beautiful village of Alfriston along the Cuckmere River, a leisurely stroll until we got to West Dean where the climbs were so steep that steps had been made in the side of the forest to help people get up.
After tackling the last of the Seven Sisters on 5 August, Barbara finished her challenge with all 100 miles of the South Downs Way completed!
When we saw the flags waving to indicate the end we became emotional. Debbie (Barbara's daughter) was waiting at the end with a small bottle of fizz for us, along with her tears of appreciation for what we had done. My husband Jon had only ever signed up to be my transportation but when my neighbour was unable to go, he decided to take every step of the whole walk with me. I could not have done it without them.
I would like to say a massive thank you to all who have donated via my Everydayhero page - please know that you have all made it so worthwhile and here’s to the next time – but not just yet!
St Wilfrid’s Hospice would like to say a huge congratulations and thank you to Barbara and Jon for taking on such an amazing challenge to help raise money for the DREAMBUILDING campaign. You have been truly amazing.
For details of further fundraising events please visit our events page.