Work pals provide hope for hospice

Brenda Birkett and Rachael Hitchon
Brenda Birkett and Rachael Hitchon
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Sore feet, aching limbs but plenty of money for charity are the end results of an epic trek for two workmates along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

Rachael Hitchon and Brenda Birkett, colleagues at Barnoldswick company Hope Technology, walked the 127 miles of the canal and raised more than £3,000 for Pendleside Hospice.

Rachael (28) from Barnoldswick said: “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and if I never pull on a pair of trainers again I will be happy.

“We started at 5am on Good Friday in Liverpool and it rained all day. Nevertheless we did 40 miles in 14 hours. However, the second day was a nightmare for me personally.

“We set off from Chorley at 5am but soon after my ankle swelled up really badly. I only managed to complete 27 miles that day but Brenda carried on regardless.”

A strapped up ankle saw Rachael rejoin her walking partner at 4-30am from Barnoldswick on Easter Sunday – eventually reaching Leeds at 8pm.

Rachael added: “We really struggled towards the end but we had so much support from friends and family walking stretches with us.

“Brenda was amazing, I wouldn’t have done it without her. I would also like to thank my mum Lindsay and Brenda’s husband Les for ferrying us around.

“We were also helped out by lots of pubs and cafes along the route who let us use their facilities. I would like to say I slept well in between the various legs of the walk but the blisters on my feet were really painful.”

Brenda (49) from Colne and Rachael will now be taking a well-earned break before they even contemplate another adventure.

Rachael added: “We had a lovely glass of fizz when we reached Leeds. It was a great experience but I don’t think I’ll be doing it again.

“We chose Pendleside Hospice because everyone in the area knows someone associated with the good work they do. It was a great feeling to raise so much money for the hospice.”

To support the pair you can visit their Justgiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Rachael-Hitchon.