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Clarke Wilmott's Anna signs up for a Challenge of a Lifetime
6:30am Wednesday 21st August 2013 in News
A YOUNG professional from Taunton is among the first to sign up for an incredible international sailing challenge to raise money for St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice.
The Challenge of a Lifetime has been set up by the hospice to help raise money for the care of people with a life-limiting illness.
It will see over 160 volunteers, including eight patients with a life-limiting illness themselves, set sail around the Atlantic, stopping in a number of exotic locations, including the Bahamas.
The journey will take place over 88 days in eight legs, and volunteers can sail all eight sections or just one.
Anna O’Reilly, who works at law firm Clarke Willmott in Taunton, is one of those taking part.
She said: “We’ve helped raise money for the hospice before, so I went along to an information evening.
“There was a really good mix of people there, and we were told about the charity, the lives of the people we’d be helping, and about the challenge.
“We heard from the yachtmasters and it was then that I decided I was definitely going to take part.”
While Anna has never sailed before, her aunt and uncle own a boat, and she is keen to get some practice in while the weather is good.
However, there will be plenty of opp-ortunities for volunteers to practise and learn more about sailing in the coming months before setting sail in October, 2014.
Depending on which leg they tackle, volunteers will need to raise a minimum of £2,000.
Anna said: “Though it’s early days I have a few ideas for fundraising and hopefully a few of my colleagues are also taking part in the challenge, so we can do some events at work.”
Anna, 29, will be sailing in the first leg of the challenge from Portsmouth to Falmouth, which will take seven days, but she is keen to sail for longer.
She said: “Quite a bit of the challenge is in various parts of the Caribbean and that would be amazing, but I can’t get that much time off work, plus it’s the same time as my partner’s birthday and I don’t think he’d be very happy if I missed that!
“I’d encourage everyone to get involved in some way or another bec-ause it’s for such a good cause.”
People can even help without sailing if that isn’t their thing by becoming an ambassador for the hospice.
Anyone aged 18 and over can participate in the challenge, even with no sailing experience.
For more information about the challenge visit www.challengeofalifetime.org.uk
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