Next Step Challenge

29 August 2013

Climbing Mount Snowden is a daunting enough challenge for most of us ...

However Leigh-based fitness trainer Emma Poli and a group of friends are making the 3,500 ft trek on Sept 1st. as a 'warm-up' for an even greater challenge.  They set off for the Himalayas just three weeks later!

Emma says, "Last year I lost my father and previously, my father-in-law and mother-in-law. I decided to set myself a challenge to raise money for charity.  When some other fitness trainers and clients learned of my decision, a number of them offered to join in.  Fellow trainer Denise Atherton had also lost her mother-in law, so we decided to set up a group called 'Next Step', to raise money for Wigan & Leigh Hospice.  The culmination will be a Himalayan Trek on 18th. September."

Group member Denise Atherton says, "Seven of us set a joint target of raising 20 thousand pounds by organising a host of events and activities, culminating with a trek along the Great Himalaya Trail; totalling 100 kilometres over 6 days."

Some of the events that members of the group have already done include a sponsored row, football tournament, charity nights, bag-packing, pub crawl, race nights, pamper evening etc. Group member and Senior Prison Officer, Dave Hatton, recently cycled 235 miles around prisons in the region.

 Nrxtstep Pres Grpweb

Giving the Hospice a hand! The Next Step group

Denise added, "To date we have raised over £13,000 towards our target.  It's a great way to have fun and we are thrilled that all our efforts are for the benefit of local people whose journey is much more challenging than ours.  I have now also become a hospice volunteer."

"The nurses, doctors and the whole team are always helpful, compassionate and thoughtful.  Their caring professional approach is second to none.  Seeing something of the challenges they face daily is very humbling."

"I have been helping in the fundraising office and took a deep breath when they told me that they have to raise over £6,000 every day!"

The group will leave Manchester for the Himalayas on 18th September, flying to New Delhi, then taking a sleeper train to Dharmsala, followed by a 4 hour jeep transfer to the Himalayan Foothills…

If you want to make a donation in support of Emma, Denise and their group, simply visit

If you would like to set up your own Community Support Group like Next Step, whether it be a group of friends, work colleagues or just people with a shared interest, contact Julie Houston in our Fundraising Team on 01942 525566


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