Cultivo Lounge pair’s trek from Letchworth to Brighton helps raise £1,760 for Parkinson’s UK

Melissa Birks and Ben Roe from Letchworth's Cultivo Lounge at the Alcampo Lounge in Brighton after their 93-mile charity odyssey. Picture: Melissa Birks

Melissa Birks and Ben Roe from Letchworth's Cultivo Lounge at the Alcampo Lounge in Brighton after their 93-mile charity odyssey. Picture: Melissa Birks

Archant

Two co-workers from a Letchworth bar have trekked all the way to Brighton to raise funds to help fight Parkinson’s disease.

Melissa Birks and Ben Roe at the Cultivo Lounge in Letchworth ahead of their three-day trek to Brighton in aid of Parkinson's UK. Picture: Melissa Birks Melissa Birks and Ben Roe at the Cultivo Lounge in Letchworth ahead of their three-day trek to Brighton in aid of Parkinson's UK. Picture: Melissa Birks

Melissa Birks and Ben Roe took on the challenge in aid of charity Parkinson’s UK, over three days from Monday to Wednesday last week – over fields and through the rain-drenched streets of London.

The 99-mile challenge saw them walk from the Cultivo Lounge in Leys Avenue to the Alcampo Lounge in Brighton, which is part of the same chain.

Ben and Mel, who both live in Letchworth, were inspired to raise money for Parkinson’s by the affect it has had on a member of Mel’s close family.

Mel – whose joints are affected by rheumatoid arthritis – told the Comet afterwards: “What a hard challenge it was!

Melissa Birks from Letchworth's Cultivo Lounge during the charity challenge. Picture: Melissa Birks Melissa Birks from Letchworth's Cultivo Lounge during the charity challenge. Picture: Melissa Birks

“On the first day we did 36 miles, and there was plenty of field walking. As we got into London we started to struggle as our feet became sore, and legs got tired. We arrived in London at 8pm.

“On day two we did 40 miles – that was the worst and longest day. Our feet were sore and full of blisters.

“We set off through central London at 7.30am – then the rain came and it didn’t stop, cars driving past and splashing us.

“We were soaked, cold, tired and the feet so sore. We wanted to give up but we pushed through until 11pm, when we finally arrived at our hotel, too late for dinner.

“On the third day we did 23 miles. Oh dear, our feet were so bad. We had to stop a lot more for painkillers and just to take our shoes off – so our shortest day landed up to be just as long as the first.”

Nearing the end of their trek, the intrepid pair climbed the peak topped by the Clayton Windmills – known as Jack and Jill – from where they enjoyed the sweeping view down towards Brighton.

“It was well worth the climb,” said Mel. “We sat and enjoyed the views for a while before our last push into Brighton.

“In the end we did it – and we are so proud of ourselves for pushing through the pain and raising this money for Parkinson’s UK.”

The Letchworth-to-Brighton challenge was part of Lounge Aid, an initiative run through the summer months in which each member of the Loungers chain fundraises for charity.

Cultivo’s fundraising has also seen leg-waxing, a head-shave and more – with the total raised now topping £1,760.

To find out more about the challenge or make a donation, see justgiving.com/cultivo.

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