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Inspirational woman steps up to Chinese challenge

Trekking 80km across the Great Wall of China will be a dream come true for a woman whose life has turned around since she shed five stone.
Great Wall of China
Angela Hammond, 53, was inspired to take part in the spectacular five day challenge along the ancient wall, which is over 21,000km in length and more than 2,300 years old, after she read about it in a Weight Watchers magazine.

The civil servant, who has lost five stone since joining the slimming organisation in 2014, thought it would be a great way to get fit while raising money for Saint Francis Hospice.

"I have always wanted to go to China so when I saw this trek advertised I thought it sounded amazing," said Angela, who lives in Chadwell Heath.
Angela Hammond set for her challenge 1
"I wanted to support a local charity and I chose Saint Francis Hospice as the work it is doing is invaluable. It does not just look after the patient, it also looks after the family."

Angela, who has already raised £1,317 including £315 from a bake sale at work, has received tremendous support from fellow Weight Watchers members who have been selling raffle tickets to boost her fundraising target as well as accompanying her on weekly walks.

The event was organised by Dream Challenges and Angela recently joined 25 adventure seekers from across the UK on an arduous 25km walk over the rugged Yorkshire Dales Three Peaks to prepare for the steep climbs and mountain edges that await them.

They will reunite, along with a further 50 people, in Beijing in September for the start of the charity challenge where they will put their training to the test.

"I look at what we had to do in the Dales and I thought I would never get up there but I did it," said Angela, who has previously taken part in Saint Francis Hospice's annual 10k Star Walk in Romford.

She added: "I would never have got up there with an extra five stone on me. It is going to be hard as it is very steep and we will be walking for up to eight hours a day but it is going to be worthwhile. I want to get fit so I can enjoy the scenery."