South Norfolk woman’s 100 mile walk to help deaf people

A south Norfolk woman is turning her love of walking into a charity fundraising mission in memory of her pet dog that acted as the 'ears' of her late mother-in-law.

Christine MacLean was left heartbroken in February when her first Jack Russell passed away at the age of 15.

The 63-year-old is now hoping to raise hundreds of pounds for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People in memory of her beloved pet, Harry.

The terrier played an important role in the later life of her mother-in-law Elsie MacLean, who was totally deaf and lived at Mrs MacLean's home at Gissing, near Diss, up until her death in 2004.

Harry acted as her companion and hearing dog and alerted her to any visitors at her door.

The retired surveyor said she would be beginning a 100 mile walk next week along Lady Anne's Way, which will start at Skipton in Yorkshire and finish at Penrith in Cumbria.

Mrs MacLean said she wanted to do something special for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and hopes to raise �1,000 for the charity, which has trained dogs to help thousands of deaf people across the country since 1982. She hopes to complete the trek in nine days and will be accompanied by her three other terrier dogs, Tess, Millie and Jake. Her husband David will drive the support vehicle.

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'This is my fifth charity walk and this will be my longest one. We have raised a few hundred pounds so far, but we have raised the target this year.'

'My mother-in-law did not even like dogs, but Harry became her companion and when no one was in the house he would let her know when someone came around. I wanted to do something in his memory because he was quite a character,' she said.

Mrs MacLean has previously walked other national trails for the charity including Peddars Way, which runs through Norfolk, and Wolds Way in Yorkshire. She also completed the Boudicca Way between Norwich and Diss as training for her latest challenge.

To sponsor her, visit www.justgiving.com/chris-tess-millie-jake

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