Stepping out for cancer support


Since 2017, Christine Weller, who lives in Liss near Petersfield in Hampshire, has been lacing up her walking boots to complete a number of sponsored challenges to raise money for local families living with cancer.

“I first heard about Wessex Cancer Support through my close friends, Sara and Barry Rinaldi, when Barry became Chairman of the charity after the help they received when Sara was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Christine explains.

Christine’s first challenge was the Isle of Wight ultra, when she tackled a very hilly 32 miles! This was followed by a 20-mile hike at our flagship fundraising event, Walk for Hope, which is held annually in the New Forest. In 2019, she completed the Test Way, covering 26 miles. Christine was all set to walk the Thames Path in May 2020, but the arrival of Covid-19 forced her to put her plans on hold. However, she was determined that it wouldn’t stand in the way of her fundraising and arranged a quiz which raised over £250. This April, she joined the 2.6-mile challenge, raising money by walking continuous loops of her garden.

Undeterred by Covid-19, Christine has continued walking during lockdown. She rescheduled her Thames Path challenge for  September and October, covering over 200 miles in the process and raising over £1600. Wessex Cancer Support’s re-arranged Walk for Hope, which returned as a virtual event in September, fitted well into her training schedule for the challenge; she had originally signed up to walk ten miles, but decided to revisit a walk along the River Wey from Guildford to Godalming and back, which took her to 13 miles.

She says:

“I love walking. It’s a great way to get out in the countryside and spend time with friends, and of course it’s so good for me! So I combine something I love with the opportunity to raise money for a cause which is very close to my heart. Wessex Cancer Support gives to so many people. I’m really chuffed with my achievements for this year because I started off with a target of £1000 overall and I’ve raised far more than that. I did think it would be a struggle this year, but was very fortunate because people really see the value of supporting Wessex Cancer Support and they’ve been really generous.

There’s no stopping Christine! She plans to continue her fundraising for us throughout 2021 with a coffee morning or afternoon tea to celebrate her achievements, and also hopes to take part in our Walk for Hope and Starlit Trail.

Charlotte von Sicard,  Wessex Cancer Support’s Regional Community Manager, says:

Christine should be incredibly proud of her achievements – I know we all are at Wessex Cancer Support. Covid-19 impacted our fundraising massively this year, but Christine has refused to let it stand in her way, even after she had to postpone her Thames Path challenge. In the worst of times, we see the best of people, and Christine is a shining example of someone who goes above and beyond to help those who really need it. We’ve been following her blog where she posts her training and fundraising progress and it’s really inspired us. During these challenging times I can honestly say on behalf of everyone that the charity supports that we really do appreciate every penny. Thank you, and good luck for your challenges in 2012 Christine!

Follow Christine’s challenges on her Just Giving page.

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I love walking, so I manage to combine getting out in the countryside and being with friends with the opportunity to raise funds for Wessex Cancer Support who give to so many.

Christine Weller