Two Grantham friends have set themselves challenging targets as they prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.
Julie North and Louise Cooper plan to take part in a Great Wall of China trek in a year’s time, but first they need to do two things – raise pledges totalling £7,000 and get fit.
Julie, 55, a freelance social worker, and her friend from schooldays Louise, 54, a teacher, will be raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society on the trek.
Julie said: “We are both mid-50s and grew up in Syston, Leicestershire. We were best friends from the age of about 10 until Louise married and I went away to university.
“We kept in touch but didn’t see each other for 30 years, until Louise moved to Grantham about four years ago. We met up again and it was like the years in between had never happened.
“We have a wonderful, strong friendship and are really looking forward to sharing this adventure.”
The friends are regular users of the health club at the Old Barn at Marston, but Louise says they could both do with improving their fitness and losing about three stone each.
Julie, who lives with husband Michael in Barrowby, said the trek was just the incentive they needed, especially as it was in support of a cause close to their hearts.
Julie’s mother had Alzheimer’s towards the end of her life and Julie is a volunteer with the charity’s Side By Side project, accompanying a patient on outings such as to the theatre or to the shops.
Julie said: “The man I accompany likes to visit cafes and enjoys cakes and biscuits, so I will have to resist them now. Louise and I are beginning to realise we are taking on quite a challenge. It’s a 10-day trip and and the longest trek will be eight hours.
“Now we are focusing on working hard in the gym and improving our diet.”
The women also need to gain pledges of £3,500 each for the trek and are appealing for support from local business. They also plan to distribute collection boxes and organise fund-raising events.
Louise, a language specialist, lives in Grantham with partner Eddy Price-Wallace and is even planning to learn Chinese ahead of the trip, which is due to start on October 12 next year.
If you would like to support support Julie and Louise, visit www.justgiving.com/teams/chineseadventure