TWO people from Weymouth will be taking on a mammoth hiking challenge to raise money for two charities close to their hearts.

Partners Billie-Rose Hampshire, 25, and Scott Henley, 37, plan to embark on the Te Aroroa trail, a 3,000km journey across the length of New Zealand.

Billie is aiming to raise £5,000 for Dorset-based end of life charity Weldmar Hospicecare, whereas Scott is aiming to raise £20,000 for the ASCAR project, an orphanage in Uganda.

The couple plan to set off in September and have been preparing for the challenge by hiking around Portland and the Jurassic Coast.

Billie said she wants to raise money for Weldmar because they cared for her grandmother during her final days. Billie was travelling in New Zealand when she had to cut her trip short and return home for her grandmother, who had become very ill.

"I had turned into a carer alongside other family members as my beautiful Granny was sadly deteriorating," she said. "We completely gave our everything, from pain management, personal care and assisting with social care.

"I didn't even feel like a granddaughter anymore, I was a carer and it was hard, but that's where Joseph Weld Hospice came to give their helping hands.

"The staff at Joseph Weld went beyond the level of care we originally assumed. They turned me from her carer back into a granddaughter for the last couple of weeks and I will forever be extremely grateful beyond words. Their love, patience, care and commitment is outstanding."

Billie promised her grandmother that she would return to New Zealand to finish the trip and now she will with Scott.

Scott, who grew up in Weymouth but now lives in Poole, said: "I have been an ambassador for the ASCAR project for over a year now and after several visits to Uganda I have decided to help them raise enough money to build a new orphanage to support their projects.

"I had never been to a third world country before and I didn't know what to expect. These children have nothing, no roof over their head and no food but they are still smiling. It really put things in perspective. I have seen the difference ASCAR makes and I just want to help keep it going."

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