Jenny prepares for 100km walk from Weymouth to Exmouth

Suzanne Rampersad (left) and Jenny Bentley will be taking on a 100km challenge in aid of HCPT.

Suzanne Rampersad (left) and Jenny Bentley will be taking on a 100km challenge in aid of HCPT. - Credit: Archant

A charity volunteer is hoping to complete a 100km course in less than 24 hours to help youngsters with special needs go to Lourdes.

Jenny Bentley will be walking, running and jogging along the South West Coast Path from Weymouth to Exmouth with her friend Suzanne Rampersad on Friday, May 19.

The 41-year-old hopes to raise £1,500 for the East Devon branch of HCPT – which is part of a national charity that takes thousands of disabled and disadvantaged children and adults to the shrines at Lourdes.

Jenny, of Mill Street Ottery, has volunteered with HCPT for nearly 14 years and annually takes on a fundraiser to boost the charity’s funds.

The production manager said: “Each year we try to make the events a little more dramatic.

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“My challenge is going to be hard as to date I have never run this far over a tough terrain, and the race will be difficult but my challenge is small compared to the day to day difficulties faced by the children we take with our group.

“Every penny raised will change the children’s lives. The pilgrimage to Lourdes increases confidence, gives hope and strength to children who face difficulties every day of their lives.”

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Some 200 groups from across the UK travelled to Lourdes and last year 9,000 attended the pilgrimage to the shrines.

Jenny said: “Each year we have to fundraise to take each child to Lourdes. It’s everything the flights, the hotels booked for the week, their food and their travel insurance.”

Last year the Sidmouth Running Club member took on the Salcombe Coastal Marathon and raised more than £1,000.

She hopes to reach Lyme Regis by sunrise which will mark the half-way point of the challenge.

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