Great wall charity trek

Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China

A WIGAN man was so moved by the work of a local charity that he is now undertaking a mammoth challenge in its name.

Jack Lyden will be walking The Great Wall of China with friend Mark Richards in November in a bid to raise money for Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

He said: “I wanted to support the hospice because when I was at high school I did two weeks’ work experience and what I saw during that time touched me immensely. What I saw and learned has stayed with me ever since and I want to make a difference in some way towards supporting this wonderful organisation.”

And the 21-year-olds will travel nearly 6,000 miles to take on the trek that should take five days to complete. In total they will walk for 34 hours, their route being extremely demanding because of severe humidity and unforgiving terrain.

En route they will take in the repair of one of the many watch towers and take on the challenge of the 1,000 steps up to the wall at Mutianyu, culminating with the ascent of the Heavenly Ladder, which the men say will be a real highlight of the trip.

And although the walk is still five months away the friends, who are both engineering apprentices, have already started training.

Jack, from Beech Hill, said: “I wanted to do something as extreme as this challenge because I knew that not only would it benefit a great charity but it would benefit me as well.

“Closer to the time we plan to tailor our training more towards the terrain that we will face in November, but Mark has already attempted the Three Peaks Challenge, although it got called off before the finish because of the weather.”

Mark, from Shevington, said: “I have done a number of charity events before so I decided to go with Jack to stop him falling off the wall!

“I didn’t know much about the hospice, but after my visit and tour I’ve realised what an incredible place it is and have much more of am idea of the scale and nature of the challenging work the staff do. When I’m crawling on all fours up the steepest sections of the wall, I will think about the journey the hospice patients are on.”

The plucky pair are also doing a series of fund-raisers in the lead-up to the event including a silent auction night at 7pm at St Anne’s Church Hall, Beech Hill, on July 20. Prizes up for grabs include a super car driving experience at Three Sisters and a six-week spa and gym membership at Kilhey Court.

For more details or to donate a prize e-mail or to sponsor the pair visit