This year’s trek will be held on Saturday 7 October and kicks off Hospice Care Week, an annual week of activity to raise the profile of hospice care across the UK, which takes place from 9-15 October.
Trekkers will set off from Devil’s Dyke at 8am on a challenging trek across the rolling South Downs and stunning Sussex countryside which concludes at St Barnabas House on Titnore Lane in Goring-by-Sea.
Registration for the trek costs just £25 per person, which includes a fundraising pack, South Downs Trek t-shirt, transportation to the start of the route, lunch, refreshments, a souvenir medal and a glass of bubbly at the finish line.
The charity asks that participants raise a minimum sponsorship of £250 which will go towards funding the specialist palliative care services it provides for adults with life-limiting illnesses across West Sussex.
Lisa Bant, 46, walked as part of the team ‘Eurotherm Trekkers’ in 2016, along with her colleagues from Durrington-based firm Eurotherm by Schneider Electric.
She said: “Whenever I get anything through from St Barnabas asking me if I’d like to do something like this I always say yes because it’s such a great cause. They help so many people, not just us.”
Lisa is currently in the process of getting a team together to take part in this year’s trek and said she is really looking forward to it.
Zoe Bates, 43, works for Valerie Manor nursing home based in Upper Beeding, who have raised over £7,000 for St Barnabas House over the last seven years. She and her colleagues also entered a team in last year’s trek.
On reaching the finish line, Zoe said: “It was a real challenge for all of us. I’ve never walked 21 miles before. My legs really hurt but it was very enjoyable and we had a lovely day for it.
“St Barnabas support not only our residents, but the staff as well, through difficult times. We do a lot of end of life care at Valerie Manor so we’re glad for the support from St Barnabas.”
For the first time since the inaugural event in 2015, this year’s South Downs Trek will be open for runners as well as trekkers.
Lucy Bone, Events Fundraiser at St Barnabas House, said: “We made the decision to open the trek up to runners as well which we are hoping will increase the number of participants who all raise sponsorship for the hospice.
“Last year over 100 walkers took part in the trek, raising over £40,000 between them which is an incredible amount of money for the hospice. We are hoping to have even more participants trekking and running this year.”
You can register to walk the South Downs Trek at www.stbh.org.uk/southdownstrek, or, if you would like to run, sign up at www.stbh.org.uk/southdownsrun. Registration closes on Sunday 24 September, so sign up early to avoid disappointment.