On Good Friday (April 19th), Mat McGowan and friends Tony, Stuart and Ben will be setting off on what Mat’s described as a ‘crazy’ fundraising challenge in aid of St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

 The friends will be trekking a 42-mile route from Dungeness, Kent, to Eastbourne Pier. Mat was initially set to take on the challenge alone, but when friends heard about his incredible fundraising efforts, they were determined to get involved.

The hospice looked after both Mat’s mum, Linda and friend Jay in March 2017.

‘They died within two weeks of one another. It’s a period of my life that I’m really thankful is over.

‘Both of the families were supporting one another, and the staff at St Wilfrid’s were there to fill in the gaps; the care and support we received was amazing.

‘I had done some fundraising challenges before mum died, like the South Coast Mighty Hike walk for Macmillan, which is a 26-mile-route from Brighton to Eastbourne.

‘I’ve also completed the South Downs Way, which was a one-hundred mile bike ride, for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust.

‘I needed some time to grieve before I felt ready for something new.

‘Dungeness is a place that’s close to my heart, and I like how different it is to anywhere else in the UK; it’s quiet, and the landscape feels almost like a desert. 

‘I think the walk will be quite meditative and help me with the grieving process.

‘I’m leaving Dungeness at dawn and hope to make it back to Eastbourne for eight in the evening. 

‘I’m expecting friends and family to meet me at the Pier when I get back; I’m hoping they’ll ferry me off to a nearby pub for a pint as soon as possible! 

‘I actually have Crohn’s disease, so that adds another dimension and level of difficulty to the challenge.

‘I’m planning on doing something similarly crazy for Crohn’s UK in the near future, so watch this space!’ 

To sponsor Mat, Tony, Stuart and Ben on their journey from Dungeness to Eastbourne, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mathew-mcgowan1