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Swaffham care worker to walk 60 miles in two days for mental health charity

Walking more than 60 miles over two days on one of the oldest paths in the country is the challenge awaiting a Swaffham care worker and her husband this weekend.

Joanne Anthony, 55, will be competing in the 'Race to the Stones' ultra trail marathon from the Chilterns Hills to the Avebury Stone Circle in Wiltshire.

Setting off with her husband Alan tomorrow (Saturday, July 13), Mrs Anthony will be raising funds for the Merle Boddy Centre in Swaffham where she has been a care worker for two-years.

Joanne Anthony, 55, will be taking on the 'Race to The Stones' Ultra marathon with her husband Alan (13725040)
Joanne Anthony, 55, will be taking on the 'Race to The Stones' Ultra marathon with her husband Alan (13725040)

The couple should be completing the 62-mile route on Sunday after trekking across the iconic Ridgeway pathway, dating back 5,000 years.

"I have never done anything like this before and it will certainly be a challenge even after months of training," Mrs Anthony said.

"But I am doing this for two important reasons, firstly to support the Merle Boddy Centre in Swaffham and secondly for my own mental wellbeing."

The Merle Boddy Centre supports people with mental health problems including dementia. The service, located at Station Yard in the town, provides breakfast for clients before a range of activities take place during the day to keep the clients "stimulated."

"I have worked as a support worker at the centre for the past two years and I love it, I'm extremely proud of the friendly caring environment we offer," Mrs Anthony said.

"The centre relies on donations to keep up and running, so I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to help out. A lot of peoples lives are affected by mental health issues and this is just a small step over a lot of miles to make life easier for local people."

Georgina Bell, the manager of Merle Boddy, said: "We support her [Joanne] wholeheartedly and are so proud as it is one heck of a challenge which she has been training hard for.

"None of the rest of us here could do that kind of challenge and we hope she has no blisters and gets through it okay."

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