1000 Miles for The Country Trust and Rayner Family


Mary Hext, our wonderful Farm Discovery Manager and her family are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, setting off from Land's End heading to John O’Groats covering the furthest possible distance in the British Isles, nearly 1000 miles in just 16 days.
 
Mary and husband Ben are joined by their two children, Rupert aged 12, and nine year old Polly. Polly, who is on the autistic spectrum, will be aiming to complete at least half of the journey under her own steam or on tandem.
 
Mary adds, “We believe that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. We’re just a normal family taking on a humongous challenge. We don’t doubt that this will be tough, but we are completely committed to do our best.”

 

The family are aiming to raise £5000. To support, you can make a donation by clicking the link below.

 



 

When not cycling, Mary leads our national team of Farm Discovery Coordinators who work with farmer hosts and teachers to enable primary-aged children from disadvantaged areas to connect to the land. Each year, together with farmers and teachers we support tens of thousands of children from areas of highest social and economic deprivation, offering fully-funded opportunities for them to experience the working countryside and meet the people who produce our food.

 

Mary says, “Through my role I'm constantly reminded of the lack of opportunities many children have. It’s not unusual for a child we work with to have never run in a field or seen a real-life cow before. This poverty of opportunity from an early age negatively impacts their physical and mental wellbeing now, and in the future. As we saw, access to the countryside was fundamental for a lot of people during lockdown. For the children we work with, this is often not an option. Over the next 5 years we’re aiming to connect more children to the countryside than ever before, there are so many young people who are eligible for our support, and sadly this number is increasing.”

 

Mary’s family are fundraising for both the Country Trust and the Rayner Family. Dom Rayner suffered a serious bike accident in August 2021 and has been in hospital ever since. Due to his injuries, Dom will never walk again. Just before Christmas he was relocated one step closer to home, from Glasgow to Gobowen spinal unit. However due to COVID guidelines, visiting has been restricted so Jane, and their children Eleanor (9) and Owen (12), have still been unable to regularly visit their Dad. The whole family are having to make significant changes to their lives, including adapting their home for when Dom eventually comes home, as well as creating opportunities where Dom can get back outdoors and enjoy activities with this family again.

 

The Hext family will be setting off from Land's End on 9th April. You can follow their journey on Country Trust’s social media.
Follow their journey here:

 

  

 

The family are aiming to raise £5000. To support, you can make a donation by clicking the link below.

 

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