Jez gets set for charity trek on Great Wall of China in aid of St Clare Hospice

PUBLISHED: 13:12 15 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:31 30 May 2010

A LITTLE Canfield man has made a life-changing New Year s resolution by signing up for a sponsored trek on the Great Wall of China. Ex-solider Jez Wilkinson will be part of a team of trekkers raising money for Hastingwood-based charity, St Clare Hospice.

A LITTLE Canfield man has made a life-changing New Year's resolution by signing up for a sponsored trek on the Great Wall of China.

Ex-solider Jez Wilkinson will be part of a team of trekkers raising money for Hastingwood-based charity, St Clare Hospice. The trek is set to take place September 17 to 25.

But helping out good causes is nothing new for the 43-year-old, who belongs to the volunteer-run Essex search and rescue team.

Mr Wilkinson said: "I'm always interested in raising money and St Clare Hospice is a brilliant cause. I am excited about getting involved with the trek knowing that every step will raise money for it."

The Great Wall of China attracts over a million visitors each year, although the vast majority of tourists visit just a small section near Beijing. The St Clare Hospice group will follow a route well beyond the regular tourist trail and will trek along some of the most spectacular sections and through remote villages seldom visited by foreigners.

"China has always been on my list of places to visit as it holds a strong connection with me from my days in the Armed Forces. I was in the Artillery with 127 Dragon Battery, which was formed in China," said Mr Wilkinson.

"Trekking along the Great Wall is right up my street. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'll be looking to enjoy it."

If readers would like to sponsor Mr Wilkinson - who is looking to raise £5000 - they should visit his on-line fundraising page, www.justgiving.com/Jez-Wilkinson

All funds will go to St Clare Hospice, which provides specialist palliative care to the communities of West Essex and East Herts. Patients have a life limiting illness which may include cancer or another disease affecting their heart, lungs, kidneys, liver or brain. Services include in-patient care, day therapy, out-patients, bereavement support and caring for family and friends.

The hospice - which only receives 30 per cent funding from the NHS towards its £2.5 million annual costs - still has places available for the trek and continues to encourage people to sign up to help raise funds for people in its care.

If readers would like more information about how to sign up, call Sally Bromham on 01303 862996, e-mail stclarechinatrek@googlemail.com or visit www.stclarehospice.org.uk

* There is a China information afternoon at St Clare Hospice on Saturday (January 16) from 2pm-4pm for anyone interested in finding out more.

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