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A message from Amy!

Hello everyone! Thank you for taking the time to find out a little bit about me, the crazy challenge I am embarking on and the wonderful charity that I am doing it for.

A bit about me first – my name is Amy and I am a Primary School teacher, adventurer, hiker, paddle boarder and mother of my gorgeous almost 4 year old daughter who is just as much of an outdoor lover as I am! I am extremely passionate about children’s mental health and the overall benefits that being outdoors has on children and adults alike: including the benefits that it has had on my mental health over the past few years. I decided that over the summer holidays I wanted to do something to really challenge myself before returning back to another busy academic year in September. As a result, my ‘12 Lakes challenge’ was born and I concocted a plan to paddle the length of the twelve major Lake District lakes, solo, over the course of two – three days whilst carrying all of my camping equipment so that I can wild camp in between. It’s 68km of paddling which I am expecting to equate to about 14-15 hours on the water – excluding the travel in between. I will be leaving my home town on the evening of Friday 20th of August with the intention of setting off on my first lake at 7am on the morning of Saturday the 21st. All being well (and weather conditions considered) I should be at the finish line by the evening of the 22nd of August where my daughter will complete the final part of my journey with me!

Although I was incredibly excited by this plan as a way of challenging myself, I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to give something back and to try to raise a bit of money. As a schoolteacher I have experienced first-hand some of heart-breaking battles that some young children have had with their mental health and have even supported very young children through domestic abuse, self-harming and attempted suicide. When I spoke to one of my fabulous teaching assistants, she excitedly told me about the charity that she volunteers for: ‘The Space’. As soon as I began to find out about the incredible work that they do, I was sold! The team at ‘The Space’ work alongside local families and children who struggle with mental health problems and suicide. Not only do they work with schools, but they also provide counselling, a telephone listening service, and various youth and community activities. Being able to raise money for this charity and see the difference that it will make in action, has given this challenge a whole new layer of purpose and given me even more determination to be successful!

I will be documenting my journey from training, packing and planning right through to the challenge itself on my Instagram page: @bookworm_explores and hope to encourage as many people as possible to donate through my Just Giving page

Thank you for your support and I can’t wait to take you all on this adventure with me!