Nursing student Sammie and boyfriend Paul decided to walk the 176 miles to Devon for the summer break
Nursing student Sammie Aplin and Paul Bailey are setting off today ( 13th July ) walking from Brighton to Devon over a planned period of nine days, taking in the South Downs, New Forest and Dorset’s Jurassic Coast along the way.
The Sussex Beacon, a Brighton-based charity offering specialist care for people living with HIV, has seen its budget cut recently following a reduction in funding from the NHS.
Sammie and Paul are aware of this problem and wanted to do something to help.
Sammie said: “I used to work in Clinical Research at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust and some of the patients expressed their concerns over funding cuts to the charity.
“It is such an important support service set up for people living with HIV and their families and it seemed unfair that a service rated as outstanding was struggling to stay open.
“As a student nurse, I know how important good medical care is for service users and we wanted to help. We also wanted to address some of the stigma and highlight the need for education regarding HIV.”
Sammie added she had not taken on such a long hike before – but that she was looking forward to the challenge.
She said: “It’s a brand new experience for us both and one we are really excited about. We are slightly worried that the weight of our bags and the heat will slow us down but we have lots of energy bars to keep us going.
“Also, the South Downs, New Forest and Jurassic Coast are all incredible places to be walking through.”
Sammie will start her third year at the University of Brighton in September having thoroughly enjoyed her time at the University so far.
She said: “I am almost halfway through my nursing degree and cannot believe how much I have learnt already. I am looking forward to seeing what the third year brings.”
To donate to Sammie and Paul’s fund-raising page visit: https://bit.ly/2m8wlWI