Are you up for a challenge?

PEOPLE across Weston and Somerset are being called upon to pull on their walking boots and help raise money for a vital local charity

PEOPLE across Weston and Somerset are being called upon to pull on their walking boots and help raise money for a vital local charity.Hundreds of people are expected to enter the Mercury Mendip Challenge, supported by the Weston & Somerset Mercury, on June 3 to help raise much-needed cash for Weston Hospicecare.Four different routes will be available for people to walk across the Mendip Hills as well as a five-mile fancy dress walk along Weston seafront.Two of the first people to sign up for the annual event were Worle sisters Jacqui Elmer and Cathy Boulton, who have experienced the importance of the charity first hand.Jacqui, aged 50, said: "Our mum, Irene, was cared for by the hospice three years ago and since then we have taken part in the walk in her memory."Cathy and I will be walking the 10-mile route along with our partners Malcolm and Richard, my son Marcus and his partner, Nuno and our trusty border collie Blue."It is a perfect chance for people in Somerset to get out in the countryside and spend time with family and friends while also raising money for such a worthy cause."The hospice's fund-raising manager Penny Beare said: "We have arranged walks to suit people of all ages and abilities."There is a 30-mile route starting from Wells, a 20-mile walk from Cheddar, a 15-mile route from Shipman and a 10-mile route, beginning at Kings Wood near Winscombe."A five-mile fancy dress event will also take place along Weston seafront on the same day."We are launching the walk now so people can get into training and start collecting sponsorship. This is our largest fund-raising event and we urge people to try to raise as much money as possible to support their local hospice." The charity is providing a free bus service from its base in Uphill, to the different route starting points.After the walks, which end at the hospice's Jackson Barstow House, there will be a barbecue with live music.Last year the charity raised more than £45,000 from the event and this year it hopes to beat that amount to help it cover the £1.7million it needs every year to run the hospice.Entry forms are available from the Mercury's office in Waterloo Street, Weston, and also from Hospicecare shops in Weston, Worle, Winscombe and Cheddar.For more details call 01934 423900 or visit the website

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