Close south Norfolk friends to tackle toughest charity challenge to date

Mandy Wilby (left) and Denise Woodgate are raising funds for Alzheimer's Society by taking part in the Grand Canyo trek in March 2016. ANL-151119-103823001

Mandy Wilby (left) and Denise Woodgate are raising funds for Alzheimer's Society by taking part in the Grand Canyo trek in March 2016. ANL-151119-103823001

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A pair of close friends and charity champions will tackle their hardest challenge to date when they attempt to trek the Grand Canyon next year.

Mandy Wilby, of Dickleburgh, and Denise Woodgate, of Harleston, will walk 47 miles of the Grand Canyon for the Alzheimer’s Society — a cause close to both of their hearts.

Everybody you talk to knows somebody or has a relation who is suffering with the disease

Mandy Wilby

Mrs Wilby’s father-in-law, who died last year, was diagnosed with the disease, while Mrs Woodgate, who works as a healthcare assistant at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and said she sees the effect of the illness on a regular basis.

Mrs Wilby said: “The disease is hitting so many people now.

“Everybody you talk to knows somebody or has a relation who is suffering with the disease.

“It is dreadful.”

Mrs Woodgate added: “I work with people who have it, so I see a lot of it going on, and some people are getting it younger.”

Over the years the pair have raised nearly £8,000 for good causes in a variety of different ways, including walking the Great Wall of China and marathons.

Mrs Wilby said the desire to raise funds for charity came about as they were both going through “tough times” in their lives, and felt fundraising would help.

The duo met as colleagues Hartismere Hospital, and thanked the local community for their support so far.

“The support from local people has been really good,” said Mrs Woodgate.

n Their next fundraising event is a Christmas Fair at Dickleburgh Village Centre on Sunday, November 29, from 10am to 4pm.

There will be cake stalls, crafts, fresh meat and other Christmas items on offer, as well as a raffle.

If anyone is able to donate to their cause, or give a prize for the raffle, call 07530 998673 or 07917 192546

n To see their Just Giving pages, visit www.justgiving.com/Denise-Woodgate and www.justgiving.com/Mandy-Wilby1

n Are you taking part in a charity challenge for a good cause? Get in touch — email editorial@dissexpress.co.uk