Thursday, 9 June 2011

Local man thanks charity hike for amazing weight loss

A Birmingham resident is urging people to sign up to a charity hike that helped him change his life.

Lawrence Fahy took part in the 21-mile Malvern Hills Hike Against Cruelty to Kids (HACK) last year and found that as well as helping to raise money for the NSPCC’s local ChildLine base, it also kick started a fitness regime which saw him shed seven stone.

Lawrence, a teacher at Fairfax School in Sutton Coldfield, said: “I used to be quite sporty and was a well-established and respected martial artist, but this came to an end when I became ill and wasn’t allowed to do any exercise. Consequently my weight reached nearly 28.5 stone and I was feeling very depressed. I needed something to wake me up and get me going so I decided to do the NSPCC’s Malvern Hills HACK. This turned out to be the best decision I could have made because as well as raising money to help vulnerable children, it gave me back my life by helping me lose weight.”

Since completing the Malvern Hills HACK Lawrence has lost seven stone and taken part in other charity challenges. He said: “I found the HACK a real physical challenge but as soon as I crossed the finish line I knew I wanted to do more. I started training regularly, got my health back and became a lot happier in myself.

“I would urge anyone who wants to be part of a challenging but very worthwhile event to sign up to the 2011 Malvern Hills HACK. If you don’t feel you can walk the 21-miles you could sign up to be a volunteer marshal instead and help the walkers get to the finish line – they really helped me get through the last couple of miles and are a very important part of the event.”

The HACK takes place on Saturday 25 June. It is a 21-mile circular walk starting from Colwall Village near Malvern. The event is open to over 18’s only and registration costs £20. All money raised through sponsorship will go towards helping the West Midlands ChildLine base to recruit more counsellors to help ensure that every time a child or young person finds the courage to contact ChildLine there is someone available to answer their call.

NSPCC local community fundraising manager, Sarah Williams, said: “Taking part in the Malvern Hills HACK is a tough challenge, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to get fit, have fun with friends and help raise money for ChildLine. Last year people travelled from as far away as Liverpool and Colchester to take part, with people from Birmingham also doing their bit to support children.

“We’ve changed the route from last year so even if people have previously taken part, there’s no excuse not to sign up again. Why not see if you can beat your previous time, or challenge friends to also enter a team and see who really can ‘HACK it’ for children?”

For more information about the HACK, including how to register or volunteer on the day, people can visit www.nspcc.org.uk/malvernhack. Online registration closes on Friday 10 June but people can also register on the day. For more details people can telephone the local Midlands fundraising office on 0844 892 0217.

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