Debbie takes on landmark walk for Ark

SHE is one of Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s greatest supporters – and now Debbie Loveridge is really going the extra mile, and then some, to help raise funds for the good cause.

Debbie has been fundraising and volunteering for Ark – which is raising £5million to help Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) colleagues deliver supportive care and complementary therapies for cancer patients and their loved ones – for more than six years.

Since January 1, Debbie has been taking part in a virtual Land’s End to John O’Groats walk. Every week, she clocks up more miles by walking in the area close to her Basingstoke home as she heads towards her target of 874 miles – the distance between the two landmark destinations.

Debbie said: “In February 2020, I had a hip replacement, and as part of my recovery plan, and for something to do during the first COVID-19 lockdown, I started off walking short distances and increased these as I got stronger, eventually totaling 320 miles between April and August.

“This year, I decided to challenge myself further by taking part in a virtual walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats while also raising funds for Ark Cancer Centre Charity, which is a cause close to my heart and one that I have supported as a fundraiser and volunteer for several years.”

Debbie added: “All charities have faced fundraising challenges as a result of the pandemic, as face-to-face events have been cancelled, so I hope my efforts will raise some essential funds for Ark.”

Mother-of-two Debbie has been going great guns on the walking and fundraising front. She has now clocked up more than 520 miles and is nearing Scotland on her ‘virtual’ LEJOG (Land’s End to John O’Groats) challenge – and she is also closing in on her £500 fundraising target.

Debbie, 53, said: “I hope to complete the challenge in June or July. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. The support of family and friends really helps to keep me going, and I’m looking forward to completing my trek.”

You can follow Debbie’s progress on her facebook page, and if you want to sponsor her, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/debs-loveridge1

Ark Cancer Centre Charity trustee Merv Rees said: “Everyone at Ark is full of admiration for Debbie as she takes on this marathon walking challenge. Debbie is a fabulous Ark supporter and she has made such a big difference to the charity. The Ark team cannot thank her enough for what she has done and keeps doing.”

Ark is funding a wellbeing centre, which will offer counselling and complementary therapy facilities to cancer patients, at Basingstoke hospital. This will be a significant milestone on the journey to the new cancer treatment centre at the new HHFT hospital to be built in the second half of the decade as part of the Hampshire Together Modernising Our Hospitals and Health Services programme.