I took on the challenge of this 200 mile walk because its a wonderful way to raise funds for and awareness of the Friends of Sussex Hospices.
Like so many people, I never realised how enormously valuable but horribly undervalued our hospices are until my partner died comfortably and at peace in our local hospice St Wilfrid’s in Eastbourne 11 years ago. Ever since, I have contributed regularly to St Wilfrid’s and made a few small efforts to raise funds for this incomparable service.
In December 2017 I went to a glorious concert by The Sixteen at Glyndebourne where, opening the programme, I discovered to my surprise and delight a map of the Sussex Hospices Trail, a 200 mile walk round the counties of Sussex.
Having recently acquired a hyperenergetic young spaniel, Bruno, who needs a lot of walking, I decided that rather than a New Year’s Resolution, I would challenge myself to walk the whole Trail in 2018 with Bruno, then a mere 6 months old, raising sponsorship for FSH and discovering more of Sussex as I went.
Averaging about one walk a week, we completed the whole 203(!) mile circuit on 23rd June, having had a wonderful time on the way. Having finished the walk there is definitely a great sense of achievement.
Really, I and my friends (mostly Jackie & Veronica but others too) are just so grateful for being inspired to walk in more than our own little corner of Sussex. We have since enjoyed repeating 5 of our favourite walks in the balmy mud-free summer months! What a wonderful project, and do let me know how I can help to support it further.
Once again thank you, Friends of Sussex Hospices so much for creating such an excellent walk and for all the support you have given us on our way round.
Very best wishes Lisette & Bruno! xx
Lisette’s Story by her friends
During the first six months of 2018 Lisette completed the Sussex Hospice Trail, starting and finishing at Southease, near Lewes. Several of her walking friends accompanied her along the way, but she was the only one to walk the whole route, through rain, snow, mud and fortunately, sunshine and blue skies too. She did have a four-footed friend to keep her company: Bruno, her young cocker spaniel did the whole trail, including all the train and bus journeys needed to link up each section.
We discovered many wonderful new walks in Sussex and promised ourselves that we would revisit them, but before we managed to do so this, sadly Lisette was diagnosed with cancer and she died in April 2021. We are so proud of what she achieved for Friends of Sussex Hospices, and grateful that we were able to share the enjoyment of a fantastic 200 mile trial.
Chief Canine Companion: Bruno
Start & End Point: Southease
Date finished: June 23, 2018
Fundraising for: Friends of Sussex Hospices – Make an additional donation