Preparing for trip of a lifetime

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A MUM is preparing to trek across one of the world’s most famous landmarks to support a cause close to her heart.

Fiona Tompkinson, 44, will be spending 10 days walking the Great Wall of China to raise funds for Springboard - a charity which helps get young people with disabilities into the catering, leisure and tourism industry.

Mrs Tompkinson, of Badby Road in Daventry, works in the catering industry and is mum to seven-year-old William, who has Down’s Syndrome.

She said: “We will be walking for six to seven hours per day and the majority of it is uphill and steps, so I suppose I’m mad to be doing it.

“It’s just one of the fundraising activities being arranged for Springboard and I’m really looking forward to it.

“We’ll be there for 10 days and spend six days trekking. We are flying to Beijing and will then be walking on six different parts of the wall.”

Mrs Tompkinson, who also has a nine-year-old son, Ben, will be travelling out to China on March 25 with 22 other fundraisers.

She’ll be staying in lodges along the way and is now making sure she’s in peak condition for the tough challenge.

Mrs Tompkinson added: “I’ve been doing lots of walks with one of my friends at weekends and I also do step aerobics for an hour every day. I want to enjoy the trip and if I think if I’m fit I’ll have more opportunity to do that.

“It’s the chance of a lifetime to go to China and do this, but I’m not at all nervous.

“I think it will be a beautiful and very interesting experience, and I’m also looking forward to trying proper Chinese food.

“We are aiming to raise £7,000 in total and have reached £5,500 so far.”

People can follow Mrs Tompkinson on her travels as she is now blogging at

If you’d like to sponsor her, visit