AN intrepid Mansfield Woodhouse woman is putting her best foot forward in the name of charity by treking across Peru’s gruelling Inca Trail later this month.
Twenty-six-year-old Zoe Armitage is hoping to raise £2,000 for Framework - a charity which helps homeless and vulnerable people across Mansfield - after her own dad was helped by the charity when he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2009.
The hike will take Zoe around six days and will see the group traverse over mountainous terrain at 4,200m above sea level and through the archaeological complex of Runkurakay and the Inca Citadel before arriving at Macchu Pichu.
But Zoe is determined to finish the epic trek to highlight the ongoing work of Framework and raise awareness of homelessness and vulnerable people in Mansfield.
“Whatever difficulties I endure during the trail are nothing compared with the day to day challenges experienced by some of Framework’s service users,” she said.
“What is a few nights under canvas, walking with a backpack on your back when for many of the homeless people Framework supports this is a way of life, every day of the year - whatever the weather.
“It’s not just the homeless they support, people don’t appreciate the excellent work that Framework do in supporting those with mental health issues in rebuilding confidence and relationships.
“In many cases, it gives them a zest for life that they had forgotten about.”
Her dad’s long road to recovery began when a support worker started visiting him on a weekly basis and he went onto sign up for a joinery skills workshop run by Framework.
The new course helped initiate him back into the working environment as well as boosting his confidence and joinery skills.
“It is six months on now, and although he still has bad days, not only is he more positive about things generally, but he’s also volunteering as part of the joinery team and helping others learn new skills and rebuild their own confidence, just like Framework did for him,” added Zoe.
“So that’s why I’m challenging myself to do the Inca Trail, because of the challenges faced by my dad and all those other people Framework strive to help.
“But I can’t do it without some generous sponsorship, as I need to raise a minimum of £2,000 to be even able to tackle the challenge event so please dig deep because the smallest amount will help.”
Zoe is also organising a fundraising fun day at The Star Inn in Mansfield Woodhouse on 13th August.
Make a donation by visiting www.justgiving.com/Zoe-Armitage or by contacting Louise Darby at Framework on 0115 9709527.