Hiking for a Hero trek to support charities

Pamela Smith is Matthew's inspiration
Pamela Smith is Matthew's inspiration

A construction project manager is raising money for charity in memory of an Arundel woman.

Matthew Barnes-Smith is set to walk 100 miles along the South Downs Way, and has extended an invitation to anyone with an unsung hero in their lives to join him.

Matthew Barnes-Smith is set to walk 100 miles for the Hiking for a Hero trek

Matthew Barnes-Smith is set to walk 100 miles for the Hiking for a Hero trek

The 29 year old planned the two day ‘Hiking for a Hero’ trek to raise money for the charity Bowel & Cancer Research in memory of his friend, Pamela Smith.

Pamela was Matthew’s 82 year old former neighbour in Arundel, who died in February 2016. The pair struck up a close friendship in 2014 and she became Matthew’s confidante at a turning point in his life.

Matthew, who now lives in Hertfordshire, said: “She was a fantastic woman whose friendship had a profound effect on me. She had infinite wisdom and incredible warmth. She was a woman of strength, integrity and empathy and anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her would understand how comfortable, warming and positive her company was.”

“If anyone’s crazy enough to join me for all or part of the walk at my pace, or their own, that would be great. I want to raise money for unsung heroes – those people who wander in and out of our everyday lives, who mean a lot to us but whose story doesn’t always get told.”

The idea for the hike came about because Pamela, knowing that her young neighbour liked to walk, would save press cuttings about local walks around Arundel which Matthew might like.

Matthew said: “It seemed like a fitting tribute. Pam would probably be questioning my sanity – telling me I’m a nutter. But she’d also be proud.”

He sets off from Winchester on April 14, finishing in Eastbourne the next day.

Matthew is also raising money for the St Wilfred’s Hospice in Chichester where Pam was cared for in her final days.

For more information, vist www.facebook.com/HikingforaHero/ or to support Matthew, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/PAM.

Deborah Gilbert, the chied executive of Bowel & Cancer Research, thanked Matthew for his support.

She said: “Our mission is to fund research so that no one should die of bowel cancer in future and we cannot do that without the support of fantastic fundraisers like Matthew. We’re sure Pamela would have been proud.”

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