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Whilst most of us will be taking it easy on Christmas day, Helen Trott and Matt Grant from Upper Beeding are trading in their Christmas lunch for a 26.2-mile marathon walk to raise money for St Barnabas House.
Setting off at 8am, Helen and Matt have planned a route from Arundel to Upper Beeding, which will take them over the South Downs Way.
For 26-year-old, Helen, lacing up her walking boots to support the hospice doctors and nurses who will be working on Christmas day was an easy decision.
“This year has been hard for a lot of people and I know charities have suffered with cancelled events and shops being closed, so I wanted to do something big to raise money St Barnabas House who have been there for close friends and family during devastating times, including my Nan and my best friend’s Mum,” says Helen.
“I love the outdoors and I thought a marathon length walk might be a good challenge that I can do locally. I was planning to do it alone but my partner, Matt, said he would like to spend the day with me, so he’s been breaking in his new walking boots!”
Rather than giving and receiving presents this year, the couple are focusing their time and effort on training for the marathon walk as well as fundraising to try and reach their goal of £1,000 by Christmas Day.
Helen, who has set up a Facebook page called ‘Helen’s Rubbish’ (@helensrubbish) – collecting and recycling unwanted clothes, plastics and more for charity – believes that for some, “Christmas has become an excuse to buy excessively and waste excessively.” Which is why she has chosen to do something completely different this year and give back to a local charity at the same time.
“I do enjoy the Christmas dinner though!”, continues Helen. “We’re hoping it’s nice weather so we can complete the challenge in eight hours, finishing the walk at my mum’s house in time for a steaming hot bath, comfy pyjamas, roast dinner and a few gins… in that order!”
Helen and Matt will be documenting their challenge on their public Instagram pages, @thenotsosecretlifeofhelen and @mattalphapack.
If you’ve been inspired by their story, you can show your support by visiting their JustGiving page.