Mum going ‘out of comfort zone’ to help hospice

Mother-of-three Jenni Bignell wants to make 'a valuable contribution'
Mother-of-three Jenni Bignell wants to make 'a valuable contribution'

Mother-of-three Jenni Bignell is preparing for the trip of a lifetime to raise money for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.

The Cambodia Challenge will see Jenni trekking 85km over nine days, journeying through the heart of old Indochina.

Jenni said: “Some may think this is just an opportunity to have a holiday but if you care to think deeper, it is actually far more challenging than that.

“Sharing a trip with strangers, sharing a tent in the jungle with someone unknown, walking between 12 and 15 miles a day, every day, for five consecutive days, in heat and high humidity – these things are not a package holiday and they will take me out of my comfort zone, into a situation where team work will be all important, camaraderie will see us all through and many of us may struggle with our energy.

“We are not all youngsters going on a jaunt. The ages span from 20s to 70s, I believe. The challenge is individual for each of us but the benefit for the hospice will be tremendous.”

Jenni, who lives in Worthing, is putting on two events in February and March to support her fundraising.

Speed dating for the over 50s will be held at Sussex Yacht Club, Brighton Road, Shoreham, on Thursday, February 16, at 7.30pm. This is a chance to meet and make new friends, with spaces for 15 women and 15 men. Tickets are £15 and advance booking is essential, email jennibfriends@gmail.com

A dance will be held at the same venue on Friday, March 10, from 8pm to 11.50pm, with live music from the 1960s to 1980s with Dr Fun and great recorded dance tunes. Tickets are £10, email Jenni to book.

Jenni said: “My personal interest in Chestnut Tree House is because of a lad I met when I was a newly-qualified homeopath and who some 12 years later still benefits from the respite care provided by their team.

“I have been very fortunate to have three healthy children grow into adulthood to now have a small granddaughter.

“I have worked as a medical secretary in a GP surgery, hospitals and also in private oncology and I know how much support is given by hospices for adults and children alike. If I can make a little difference then I will feel I have made a valuable contribution in my life.”

The trekkers will be exploring rice paddies and jungles dotted with ruins and temples. Up to 50 people have pledged to raise at least £2,800 each to do the trek as a personal challenge and to provide much-needed funds for the childrens’ hospice.

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