Delay could work to pair’s advantage

A MOTHER and daughter have been hit with a minor delay in a charity challenge but are determined to put it to good use.

Jane Venus-Lyon and her mother Gwyn had been expecting to trek along the Great Wall of China in May.

But last week the pair received a letter from the organisers saying that “due to unforeseen circumstances” the trek along the largest man-made structure on the planet will now take place from October 8 to 16.

And now they are hoping to put the delay to their advantage by raising more money.

The pair initially set themselves a target of raising £6,000 for Help for Heroes, the charity which provides support for service personnel injured in conflict, and they have already raised around £2,000.

Jane, 27, who lives in Seghill, said: “I was already for it, but this gives us an opportunity to raise more money as we’ve now got a longer period.

“We thank everybody who has donated so far, the money is still going to the same place.

“I’m hoping to get more donations while we are also looking at potential sponsorship from businesses. That could be a real boost if that comes off.”

Jane is also putting together other fundraising initiatives, including two tickets for a directors’ box for the Newcastle United verses Manchester United Premier League clash at St James’ Park on April 16. They are part of a silent auction, with the highest unique bid winning.

Other fundraising schemes include car boot sales and promotion via social networking sites, while a proposed charity ball may now take place as they have more time to organise it.

“Everybody seems interested in what we’re doing and we’ve had some support from local businesses who are offering raffle prizes as well,” said Jane.

The mother-and-daughter team chose to support the forces charity because they have several friends and family members who have served in Afghanistan, and also in light of the large number of soldiers from the north east currently posted overseas.

As part of the five-day trek they will conquer the infamous 1,000 steps at Mutinayu, dubbed the ‘Heavenly Ladder’, while walking on average of eight hours a day.

The trek has been organised by Cramlington-based events management company Running In Heels, which was set up by Jane and her business partner Rebecca Wilson in 2009.

For more information on the charity trek, or to make a donation, visit

Alternatively, to make a bid in the silent auction email Jane at