Greetings! We’re often asked if we’re close to the South West Coast Path and yes indeed we are very close to this glorious national trail. Where the trail winds around Porlock Bay, between Bossington and Porlock Weir, it bows inland towards the village and leads to a footpath up Sparkhayes Lane. Walkers pass four fields and some houses before reaching Sparkhayes camp site, it couldn’t be more convenient and, beyond us, the shops, pubs and local amenities are only a stone’s throw away.
Today we’re publicising one of many brave souls who take on the challenge of the South West Coast Path in the name of charity. Pauline Beloni is hiking the trail solo to raise money for young carers – young people who provide care for a family member, often at a level of responsibility that is usually associated with adults. When Pauline was young, she cared for her mum who was terminally ill with cancer and had also broken her back. Sadly, she died on Pauline’s 13th birthday. Looking after her was very important to Pauline but she also longed to have the opportunity to be a child and have time to play. She didn’t know she was a young carer and never got the opportunity to meet others in her situation.
Taking to the Coast Path to raise awareness of young carer’s isolation is a fantastically positive step (or several thousand!). On 30 May 2016, Pauline will depart from Minehead on a solo hike to The Lizard. The hike covers 300 miles and will be completed in four weeks, during which she will be carrying a backpack weighing approximately 15kg as she will be camping out. Hiking this distance along the path is equivalent to ascending Everest twice..!
As well as the physical challenge this represents, she will be sharing her story along the path to raise awareness of the issues young carers face (see her blog). This will be mentally challenging – young carers carry burdens into adulthood and the best way to lighten those burdens is to help them now. If you feel able to donate to Pauline’s cause, please see her fundraising page. You might also be able to offer her words of encouragement when she pauses briefly at Sparkhayes or be able to help her spread the word about her hike. We’re all wishing you the best of luck here at Sparkhayes Pauline!