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Clitheroe-based council auditor Mick Ainscow is calling on local people to help him put his best foot forward for a trek across the Sahara desert in aid of disabled and terminally ill children in Lancashire.

Mick, who takes on the two-day 84km challenge in Morocco’s Draa Valley on October 21 and 22, has already smashed his initial fundraising target of £1,000 for Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children. Mick said: “My fundraising currently stands at £2,181 so I am really pleased with the support I have received. Training is going well and am tapering off a bit now, doing relatively short distances of ten to 12 miles. My next long walk will the Saharan Challenge itself!”

If you would like to support Mick, go to:

Mick is in training for the gruelling event by walking part of the way home to Chorley from his work at Ribble Valley Council in Clitheroe once a week. He has also been fitting in ‘sand walks’ along the coast around Fleetwood and long weekend rambles with his dog Bailey. He said: “My 54th birthday falls the day after the two-day challenge is completed – so I hope I’ve still got the energy and enthusiasm to celebrate!”

Mick added: “I chose to take on this challenge in aid of Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children because the charity guarantees that 100 per cent of what I collect will go directly to help a child or children in Lancashire.”

Newlife is currently working with 20 families in the county, with urgent equipment needs totalling £21,175. For more information, go to: Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.

Mick said: “I enjoy walking and recently completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks in just over ten hours. However, I don’t think that is really going to prepare me for this next challenge. The distance isn’t an issue – it’s the extreme temperatures and 90 per cent humidity, and the need to keep hydrated, that will be the real problem.”


Pictured: Mick Ainscow