Earley teenager plans Everest trek to help cancer charity
A SIXTH form student from Earley will be taking a break from the books next month as she sets off on a charity trek.
Jenna Poynter, 17, who is studying for her A Levels at Maiden Erleigh School, in Silverdale Road, is preparing to trek to the Mount Everest basecamp in support of Macmillan Cancer Support.
And the cause is especially close to the teenager’s heart as her grandfather, Ronald Thompson, sadly passed away from stomach cancer in November 2014.
Jenna’s 14-day expedition will kick off on October 6 when she sets off from Kathmandu in Nepal to conquer the famous Himalayan mountain range.
The challenge will involve trekking more than 70 miles to reach Everest basecamp at an altitude of 5,545 metres above sea-level, which is over halfway up the highest peak in the world.
Jenna, who will celebrate her 18th birthday shortly before the trip, will be the youngest member of the expedition group.
In order to prepare for the gruelling trek, the teenager, who teaches children’s exercise classes at the David Lloyd gym in Thames Valley Park, has been training with regular gym sessions and hill walks, including daily mountain treks on a recent family holiday to Malaysia.
Jenna said: “I decided to do this as a personal challenge. I don’t tend to do much walking so my friends were very surprised to hear about my trek! I am getting a little bit nervous now but the fact I’m raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support will keep me going and I know the sense of achievement when I reach Everest basecamp is going to be incredible.
“My parents are really proud of me for taking on such a difficult challenge and especially because I am doing it in memory of my Granddad.
“A Macmillan nurse looked after my Granddad when he was ill and after he passed away they continued to support us through their Support Line. Macmillan Cancer Support helps so many people in the area, I am doing this to give something back and to help them to support even more families.”
There are around 1,500 people in Wokingham currently living with cancer, and 288 people in the area sadly die from the disease each year.
The Macmillan Berkshire Cancer Rehabilitation service helps people to play an active role in their own recovery through practical, emotional and psychological support. Local Macmillan Benefits Advisors have helped people access almost £87,000 in unlocked benefits and £7,643 in one-off Macmillan grants which is a huge help to those who have lost income through ill-health.
Natalie Wiltshire, Macmillan Fundraising Manager for East Berkshire said: “We’re so glad that Jenna has chosen to undertake her Everest Base Camp Trek in aid of Macmillan. With one in two people expected to have a cancer experience by 2030, we need to be able to reach more people with our services.
“We receive no government funding, so we rely on the support of people like Jenna to be able to continue to support people affected by cancer and their families. We wish Jenna the best of luck with her challenge and hope she has a great experience!”
Jenna is hoping to raise £500 for Macmillan. To sponsor her, visit www. justgiving.com/ fundraising/jenna-poynter.
BUSINESSES and groups across Wokingham borough will be coming together next week for a slice of cake and a cup of coffee to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The Grange Cafe at Holme Grange Craft Village in Heathlands Road will be holding a coffee morning on September 22, while homemade cakes will be sold at Emma’s Kitchen in Twyford, with all proceeds going to the charity.
Are you planning on holding a coffee morning for Macmillan? Get in touch by emailing news@ wokinghampaper.co.uk or calling 0118 327 2662.
17-year-old Jenna Poynter will next month tackle the tallest mountain in the world in honour of her Granddad