An outdoor activity instructor from Honiton tomorrow (Sunday) sets off on an a 630-mile coast path walk in memory of his 10-year-old niece.
Paul Boddington, 49, is hiking the entire length of the South West Coast Path, walking for Lauren, who died aged 10 in 2008, after she was born with delayed development.
Paul, co-founder of Seaton-based outdoor events, training and leisure activity company UX2, is raising awareness and funds for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW), which gives respite to children with life-limiting conditions, and their families.
He leaves tomorrow, Sunday, September 15, walking between 20 and 40 miles each day, camping overnight en-route or staying with friends.
Paul hopes to raise a £5,000 for the charity and complete the rugged 1,014km coastline hike from Minehead to Poole in 30 days.
Paul said: “My niece Lauren was a beautiful girl born with delayed development, which meant she could not walk or talk and had to deal with many other ailments.
“This wonderful charity offers support to families living with a child who needs 24-7 care and has a diagnosis of short life expectancy.
“The amazing team works tirelessly to support families through the darkest days and give them some moments of relief.”
Ten-year-old Lauren died in December 2008 and Paul is determined to complete the challenge in her memory.
He plans to make a video of his hike, and will be GPS tracked, so sponsors can follow his progress.
Paul said: “Based on my current fitness levels, walking the dog five miles along the coastal path is demanding enough, but I am doing this for good reason.
“I know we all get asked to support different charities all the time, but even the smallest donation can make a big difference to CHSW. I would be eternally grateful for any support.
Throughout the challenge I will be doing video and GPS tracking sponsors can check my progress and make sure I don’t cut corners or hitch a lift.”
Paula Hullett, CHSW community fundraiser, said: “Paul has set himself a tough challenge and we are honoured that he is doing it to support Children’s Hospice South West.
“Our three hospices – Little Bridge House in North Devon, Charlton Farm in North Somerset and Little Harbour in Cornwall – offer vital care and support for the whole family, giving them the chance to relax and make precious memories together.
“It costs around £10million a year to keep the three hospices open and we rely almost entirely on voluntary contributions.
“We couldn’t do what we do without the support of incredible people like Paul.”
Sponsor Paul through his JustGiving page.