Walking the coastpath for Uganda

PUBLISHED: 17:07 05 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:17 17 June 2010

TWO friends from Sidmouth are on a 630-mile-long walking adventure along the South West Coast Path to raise funds for a charity helping Africans.

TWO friends from Sidmouth are on a 630-mile-long walking adventure along the South West Coast Path to raise funds for a charity helping Africans.

Diana Hurn and Jennifer Bradnock, who met at Sidmouth Methodist Church seven years ago, discovered they each harboured an ambition to walk the path.

They have covered 595 miles in two years, recently completing the latest leg of 52 miles from Westward Ho! to Coombe Martin.

Diana, a retired infant teacher and doctor Jennifer who works at Blackmore Health Centre once a week, have so far raised more than £2,000 for Interface Uganda after learning about the Exeter-based charity, which provides life-saving reconstructive surgery from visiting UK surgeons.

Jennifer lived and worked in Uganda with her husband in the 1970s; she in medicine and he teaching at King's College, Budo.

Diana said: "We were urged to seek sponsorship for our efforts by many friends, and we felt this was the charity we wanted to support."

Friends have opened their gardens, while others gave a lunchtime concert at the Methodist Church, to raise funds.

The women will cover the remaining 35 miles on a two-day walk next week, finishing the last stretch to Minehead on Wednesday, October 22.

Jennifer, from Harcombe, Sidford, and Diana, from Knowle Drive, Sidmouth, began their day-long walks along the Jurassic Coast in 2006, but stepped up the pace this year after talking to church members over tea, seeking their sponsorship.

This year they have walked in four-day bursts, carrying all they need in rucksacks and using B&Bs en-route, covering around 50 miles each time.

The duo's "wonderful husbands" Chris and Philip were unable to cope with the path's steep ascents and descents but gamely chauffeured them to and from each new section they tackled.

The path, graded from easy to severe, runs from Poole in Dorset to Minehead in Somerset. When they have finished the women will have climbed 115,000 feet, just a little short of walking the height of Everest from sea level four times.

*Anyone able to sponsor the walkers can contact Diana on (01395) 514818.

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