Bar­maid’s chal­lenge is tonic to in­jured sol­diers

Macclesfield Express - - CHARITY ROUND-UP -

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 just­giv­ 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

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