BUSINESSES have backed an entrepreneur and her charity-founding friend in a fundraising trek across the Great Wall of China at the end of the month.
Best of Worthing owner Melanie Peters and Babybuddy’s Chelsea Harman will spend nearly 40 hours walking across the ancient wonder over the course of five days.
Charitable firms have already pledged £4,000 in sponsorship to fund the trip, with £2,500 already raised for Babybuddy and Love Your Hospital.
Melanie, 39, said: “It’s going to be massively out of our comfort zones. Neither of us are very fit at the end of the day.
“We’re going to struggle with the humidity the most, I think, but it will be worthwhile and for a good cause.”
The duo will fly out on April 26, beginning their challenge in Beijing.
Most of their days will involve trekking for up to eight hours a day, in remote areas.
They have coined their challenge ‘These Boots Were Made for Walking’, and Melanie said they have been wearing their boots on an almost constant basis in training for the marathon effort.
She said: “We wanted to do something big for charity. We didn’t want to do something like a sky dive which is done a lot.
“Quite a few people have done this expedition, but it is not as well publicised.
“It is quite a big challenge for the both of us.”
Juggling busy schedules, Melanie and Chelsea have spent weeks preparing in the gym and going on practice walks to ensure they are ready for the long treks.
She said: “It has been difficult, as I have been ill and working on the business, and Babybuddy is opening a charity shop this week, so Chelsea has been busy preparing for that.
“We have tried to do as much as we can before we get there.
“Speaking to people who have done it before, they say how tough it is, and some of them are very fit. We are looking forward to the experience, though.”
Melanie thanked their main sponsors, who have managed to get them on the plane.
They are: Darren Crabb Wealth Management, Face Media Group, Clear Computing, Brio, Valusys, Julian Church and Associates, Pure Personnel and Heaton and Highgrove House.
The funds raised will be split equally between the two charities.
Babybuddy is a children’s charity supporting Worthing and the surrounding areas.
Its purpose is to support families and carers with children living with learning disabilities, offering support and regular meeting places.
Love Your Hospital’s share will go towards Worthing Hospital’s special care baby unit.
A further fundraising event – a fish and chip supper – will be held at Fish Factory, in Littlehampton, on Tuesday, April 15, at a cost of £18 per person.
Places can be booked by calling 01903 715000.