Helen takes on the Great Wall of China

Helen Smith on the Great Wall of China.
Helen Smith on the Great Wall of China.

A county woman has trekked the Great Wall of China for charity in memory of her mum.

Helen Smith, from Blyth, raised more than £4,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society by taking on the charity trek.

The 56-year-old, who works as a nurse at Newcastle’s RVI, tackled a daunting series of mountainous miles on the society’s Great Wall of China Trek.

“My mum Mary died last year after 15 years living with Alzheimer’s and when I saw details about the trek I instantly thought it was something I needed to do,” she said.

“I signed up and then thought ‘did I really do that?’ – the walk is such a big challenge, 100 kilometres in tough terrain over six days.

“Mum didn’t know any members of the family in the last five years.

“It took its toll on my dad as well, the disease is devastating for everyone.”

On the trek with a group of 34 fellow fundraisers, Helen was the only walker from the north east taking on the challenge.

“Sometimes the ascent seemed almost vertical and scenery along the route was breath taking – as was the walk in places,” she said.

“I’m really grateful to everyone who supported me so generously – the amount raised was beyond my wildest expectations.

“A lot of people are living with dementia, or know someone who has the disease, it is having such a big impact we have to do something.

Alzheimer’s Society organises events both in the UK and abroad. Visit www.alzheimers.org.uk/events for details.