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Ambleside's Doris treks Hadrian's Wall to raise cash for Centrepoint
A 96-YEAR-OLD Ambleside woman has come a long way in the last eight months.
Not only has Doris Hancock walked the length of Hadrian’s Wall, but she has raised more than £5,000 for the charity Centrepoint.
The former teacher, who is now back home in Belle Vue Lane, completed the 84-mile trek from Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway in eight legs.
She covered five miles a day for two days each month, with friends and family keeping her company.
She even received a message of support from Prince William, patron of Centrepoint, a charity which supports young homeless people.
Although Doris said she was always interested in the walk, she finally decided to do it at 95 after buying a Hadrian’s Wall route planner in a book sale.
She celebrated her 96th birthday on the way.
“I’d always wanted to do it, but never done anything about it,” she said.
“Nobody said: ‘What a silly old thing’. Everyone was really supportive. I picked five miles because it was the distance those recovering from heart attacks should walk. I thought if they could do it, so could I.
“I walked to Windermere to check I could do the distance and it seemed all right.”
Doris, who has lived in Ambleside for 36 years, picked Centrepoint to support after a career working with young people.
“It is terribly important to help those with nowhere to go,” she said.
“They don’t only take them in when they are destitute, but give them a flat and get them used to looking after themselves. Then they can hopefully get a job and back on their feet before they move on.”
Doris said the hardest aspect of the walk was bad weather.
“It was awful throughout the whole walk, apart from the first and last days,” she said.
“On the last leg I was with my nephew and a friend. We were in a field with mud coming over our boots and couldn’t find anywhere to put our feet. We just couldn’t get out of it.
“The beginning and the end were the best bits. My neighbour comes from Newcastle and he walked with me along the Tyne, pointing out all the interesting buildings. Then we had a party at the end where they wouldn’t let me pay for bed and breakfast.”
To further boost Doris’ fund-raising efforts, visit www.just giving.com/Doris-Hancock2012