Lawyer set for 630-mile hike to support hospice youngsters
A leading East Midlands lawyer inspired by a visit to Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People is to walk 630 miles to raise money for the charity.
Andy Matthews, 56, from Wymeswold, Leicestershire, will take six weeks away from the office at Gateley Plc, where he is a partner and head of the firm’s Nottingham office, to hike around England’s South West Coast Path to complete the epic trek.
His firm had previously nominated Rainbows as its chosen charity in 2015 – and it was during a subsequent tour of the Loughborough-based charity that he was incredibly moved by the care provided to children and their families by the hospice.
Andy said: “Visiting the hospice really moved me – the care and support provided is invaluable and I made myself a promise that I would do more for Rainbows when I could. The love, support and care they give to children and their families is so humbling.”
Andy, a keen hiker, is set to start his epic coastal walk in Minehead, Somerset on 11 June, embracing the stunning coastlines of Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. He says he’s always wanted to hike the South West Coast Path – but has found the distance and the time involved daunting.
“It’s the equivalent, in terms of total ascent, of walking four times up and down Everest, hiking an average of 15 miles a day over 43 days, so it will be quite gruelling – but I am spurred by the youngsters, families and staff I have met at Rainbows.”
And he is looking forward to the solitary challenge. “I find hiking a wonderful balance to the kind of work I do,” he adds. But he says he is unlikely to be lonely. Family and friends are set to join him at various stages of his route around the Southwest. They include his wife, BBC East Midlands Today presenter Jo Healey, and daughters Frankie and Anna.
He hopes to raise £12,000 for Rainbows – the only specialist care centre of its kind within the region - which supports youngsters with life-limiting conditions and their families across Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Rutland, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.
Helen Lee-Smith, Rainbows head of Individual Giving, said: “It’s an amazing challenge that Andy’s taking up to raise money for us and we are so very grateful. As a charity, everything we do is only possible through our incredible supporters who enable us to keep our doors open and provide vital support to families across the region when they need it most.”
To support Andy’s epic coastal hike click on https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andy-matthews7 You can also follow Andy’s progress from 11 June at https://www.andrewjmatthews.co.uk
Our picture shows Andy pictured with Rainbows young adults Drew Wright (left) and James Page, both from Nottingham.