An outdoor activity instructor from Honiton is getting ready to walk the entire length of the South West Coast Path this month in memory of his niece.
Paul Boddington, aged 49, is hoping to complete the rugged 1,014km coastline hike from Minehead to Poole in 30 days to raise money for Children’s Hospice South West.
He will be setting off on Sunday, September 15, walking between 20 and 40 miles each day and mainly camping overnight or staying with friends.
He hopes to raise £5,000 for the charity, which provides respite for more than 500 children with life-limiting conditions and their families across the South West.
Paul, a co-founder of Seaton-based outdoor events, training and leisure activity company UX2, said: “My niece Lauren was a beautiful girl born with ‘delayed development’, which meant she could not walk or talk and had to deal with many other ailments.
Having witnessed first-hand the impact this had on the whole family has given me a real understanding of just how important Children’s Hospice South West is.
“This wonderful charity offers support to families living with a child who needs 24-7 care and has a diagnosis of short life expectancy. The amazing team works tirelessly to support families through the darkest days and give them some moments of relief.”
Lauren died in December 2008 aged 10 and Paul is determined to complete the challenge in her memory.
“Based on my current fitness levels, walking the dog five miles along the coastal path is demanding enough, but I am doing this for good reason.
“I know we all get asked to support different charities all the time, but even the smallest donation can make a big difference to CHSW. I would be eternally grateful for any support you can offer.
“Throughout the challenge I will be doing video and GPS tracking so you can check my progress and make sure I don't cut corners or hitch a lift!”
CHSW community fundraiser Paula Hullett said: “Paul has set himself a tough challenge and we are honoured that he is doing it to support CHSW.
“Our three hospices – Little Bridge House in North Devon, Charlton Farm in North Somerset and Little Harbour in Cornwall – offer vital care and support for the whole family, giving them the chance to can relax and make precious memories together.
“It costs around £10million a year to keep the three hospices open and we rely almost entirely on voluntary contributions. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of incredible people like Paul.”
You can support Paul’s Walk1000-4 Lauren by making a donation to his online fundraising page.