DEA Sue Cole will be pulling on her walking boots with a vengeance next month when she sets out on a gruelling 10-hour trek across some rugged terrain – but it’s all in a good cause.
Sue, 53, who has been a DEA as long as there have been EPCs, will be aiming to complete a demanding slog across the hills and dales of Worcestershire to raise money for a local hospice – and she is hoping other assessors will help with her fundraising.
The mum of two grown-up sons is taking part in the 31 mile Worcestershire Way Walk on 20 June, in aid of the Worcester-based St Richard’s Hospice Foundation, which cares for patients living with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, but needs to raise almost £7m a year to keep up the good work.
She told EAM: “I sometimes take for granted my good health, and I want to challenge myself whilst fundraising for an excellent local cause.”
Health issues came to the fore in Sue’s household near Worcester when her partner, Fred Doodey, needed an operation to fit a heart pacemaker. Thankfully he is now in good shape, and on top of recently setting up an energy efficient windows business, he will also be walking with her on the day.
The third member of the team is the indefatigable Molly, a three-year-old Parson Jack Russell (they have longer legs than usual Jack Russells) who loves walking.
Said Sue: “You can never wear her out. She loves scrambling along stone walls and leaping up boulders. We did three days in the Peak District over Easter and she loved Kinder Scout!”
All three are already in training together. Sue said: “Freddie and I did 30 miles training over the last three days, including the Malverns and Bredon Hill – wearing in new trainers and practising in all types of weather! Waterproofs for all three of us and jelly babies/oaty snacks are always packed!”
Taking on this kind of challenge is clearly in Sue’s blood, though Fred hasn’t always been able to accompany her. Four years ago she took on a 26 mile power walk for breast cancer, starting at midnight in Edinburgh, with walkers in their bras – which left Fred out!
She recalled: “Part of the route went through Edinburgh city centre just as all the lads were turning out of the clubs – which definitely made me walk faster!”
This time she will be glad to have all her clothes on, but she is under no illusions that the 6am-start challenge is a tough one, and she is hoping that other assessors will respond by donating as much as they can.
Having originally set herself a target of £222, she has already topped £200 and has had to increase her target to £333.
To access Sue’s Worcestershire Way Walk page (above), where you can get her updates and donate money, go to http://www.justgiving.com/Suecrowle For every donation on the site the charity will also receive a 20% tax refund from HMRC.
EAM is always happy to support assessors raising cash for charity. If you are involved in a fundraising challenge send the details to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Update 21 June 2014
Sue completed this challenging walk in under 10 hours (“about 9 hours 50 minutes” she says), which she was very pleased with, and she almost doubled her original fundraising target of £222, with donations of £436. At the present time her ‘JustGiving’ page (address above) is still open for further donations.