Barmaid’s challenge is tonic to injured soldiers
A RUGBY club barmaid is taking on the challenge of a lifetime in aid of a soldiers charity.
Sonia Cooke, 36, is raising money to trek to Everest base camp in aid of Help for Heroes.
She is planning a fundraiser at Macclesfield Rugby Club to help get to her target.
Sonia is a familiar face to rugby fans because she works behind the bar at the club and is a keen supporter of the team.
Club bosses say they are right behind her and fans are helping the campaign with donations in collection tins on the bar.
In November, Sonia will be trekking over 12 days from Lukla in Nepal, reaching Base Camp on about day seven.
She will be walking with other volunteers, including ex-service personnel, local Sherpas and a support team.
Sonia said: “At the end of last year I decided I needed to focus on more personal goals. I work in a predominantly office based job as an intelligence officer for the Information Commissioner’s Office so I felt I needed to do something a little different.
“It had been a long time since my last big challenge when a Help for Heroes email landed in my inbox asking for volunteers to raise money to go to Everest Base Camp.
“After pondering it for a few days I decided to go for it. It was certainly going to be a massive challenge both mentally and physically, but I felt like it was a case of now or never.
“A big part of this journey is the fundraising. As a very proud supporter of Macclesfield Rugby Union Football Club and a match day barmaid, I have been very fortunate to have the backing of the club in my fundraising endeavours. As well as having collection jars on the bar, I will also be hosting a number of fundraising events which are open to anyone who wishes to come along and support this great cause.
“My dad and brother run Autographics sign company on Green Street, Macclesfield, and they have been invaluable designing and printing my posters and banners.”
She chose to support Help for Heroes as she has a connection to the charity through her mum.
Sonia, who lives in Handforth but whose brother lives in Macclesfield and parents in Bollington, said: “I’ve seen first hand the help and support they give to injured service personnel.
“My mum was a staff nurse for a number of years at Headley Court, a military rehabilitation centre based in Surrey and I spent time with patients there, going to the cinema and getting the lads off the ward for a while.”
The first fundraiser is a quiz and curry night at Macclesfield Rugby Club on Friday, February 10, at 7pm. Tickets are £15 per person.
Go to justgiving.com/ fundraising/SoniaCooke81 to donate.
Ruth Eglin (left) and Natalie Nuttall, who set up the SMILE Group in Macclesfield
Sonia Cooke is raising money to fund a trip to Everest base camp in aid of Help for Heroes