Huntingdon Homebase workers heading for the Great Wall of China

Homebase staff (l-r) Sophie Hammond, Becca James, and Louisa Altounis, who are off trekking the Great Wall of China Homebase staff (l-r) Sophie Hammond, Becca James, and Louisa Altounis, who are off trekking the Great Wall of China

Friday, March 14, 2014
8:13 AM

Three work colleagues are taking on a trek along the Great Wall of China to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society.

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Becca James, Sophie Hammond and Louisa Altounis, who all work at Huntingdon’s branch of Homebase, are heading to the Far East in September for the mammoth 10-day walk, which will include five to eight hours of walking a day.

Becca, 25, who is the store’s customer experience manager and a former Hinchingbrooke School pupil, confessed to not being known as a walker. “The thought of all that walking is terrifying,” she said. “The biggest thing, they say, is to get your walking boots broken in really early.

“I have never done this kind of thing before.”

Becca, Sophie, who is 24 and comes from Papworth, and Louisa, 34, from Huntingdon, have been going to the gym in preparation for the big climbs.

The trio will join 50 employees of the Home Retail Group, which includes Argos and Homebase. In total, the group aims to raise £120,000.

They are funding the trip themselves but have to raise at least £3,100 each to take part, which all goes to the charity.

Louisa said she had a special reason for wanting to support the Alzheimer’s Society. “My granny 
was diagnosed with early onset dementia whilst in hospital,”
she said.

“She has become progressively worse and the once active lady I grew up with has slowly disappeared before me. This disease took her most loved memories and hid them away.

“The lady that used to love gardening, crosswords, Scrabble, baking bread and cakes and, not to mention some very tasty biscuits, now sits in her new room, in her own world the majority of the time.”

She said the charity had provided support for her family, including her mum, such as its online forum and dementia friends sessions.

To help reach their target, the colleagues have organised a charity ball at the Godmanchester headquarters of Wood Green, The Animals Charity at 7pm on Saturday, April 5.

Tickets are £27 per person and include a three-course meal, a disco and a magic show. There will also be a raffle.

To book, contact Becca on 
07765 164592 or send an email to rebecca.james@homebase.co.uk.

INFORMATION: To support their efforts, visit www.justgiving.com/teams/chinatrek14. For more on the charity, visit www.alzheimers.org.uk.

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