Published Friday 20th January 2017

The first St Michael’s Hospice Black Mountains Trek is set to be quite a challenge – but for two close friends it is one to relish.

Nicola Goodwin and Colleen Hardy will join up to 100 other fundraisers tackling the 30K hike on March 11th in support of their Hospice.

St Michael’s is already close to Colleen’s heart as it is where her husband, Jason, spent the final four weeks of his life. He was just 47 when he died shortly before Christmas.

‘When we knew Jason’s illness was terminal, St Michael’s was somewhere we wanted Jason to be,’ said Colleen.

‘We always wanted his palliative care to be there.’

Jason was very active, enjoying beach walks and playing golf – winning a tournament just three months before he died.

A fundraising page has since been set-up allowing people to donate to St Michael’s in Jason’s memory. Around £1,600 has already been raised with more set to come in.

And once the trek is complete, Colleen won’t be stopping there as she plans to embark on a series of events in a bid to raise £13,000 for St Michael’s this year – roughly what it costs to provide the Hospice’s care each day.

Nicola and Colleen will be joined by about six other friends for the Black Mountains Trek.

A keen triathlete, Nicola says she thinks the challenge is ideally suited to the group.

‘Colleen is a senior lecturer in Primary PE at the University of Worcester, so sport is very important to her,’ said Nicola.

‘As a group of friends we all enjoy outdoor sports but we all do different things, so the trek is ideal because everyone can take part.’

Nicola is no stranger to taking on challenges on behalf of her Hospice.

Last September, she made history after joining friends Julie Hardman and Ian Rivers in becoming the first people to travel the entire length of the River Wye on consecutive days, from its source at Plynlimon to where the river meets the Severn estuary at Chepstow.

The group completed the challenge in 11 days, raising more than £1,600 for St Michael’s.

The Black Mountains Trek, meanwhile, will begin at Longtown Outdoor Learning Centre.

The route takes walkers up onto Hatterrall Hill before crossing the Vale of Ewyas to head north along the prominent central ridge of the Black Mountains which offers superb views across the Brecon Beacons National Park.

After passing the day’s high point at Chwarel y Fan, the group will re-cross the Vale of Ewyas at Capel-y-Ffin, returning to Longtown via Hatterrall Ridge.

Many fundraisers have already signed up for the walk, and places are limited. To join them, click here

To sponsor Colleen, click here