Face your fears for Thorpe Hall at Fire and Ice walk

A previous firewalk in aid of Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice'Photo: Paul Marriott Photography EMN-150510-152923001

A previous firewalk in aid of Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice'Photo: Paul Marriott Photography EMN-150510-152923001

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It’s almost four decades since Kim Elliott faced her fears but, inspired by the conquests of others, she’s now preparing to walk across burning hot coals to raise money for a charity close to her heart.

The last time Kim forced herself through the fear barrier was on an outward bound course aged just 13, when she was coerced into rock climbing and abseiling.

Now she is set to take part in Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice’s Fire and Ice – a firewalk across red hot coals and an ‘ice’ walk along a stretch of shattered glass.

Kim, who’s 52, has been volunteering at the hospice in Longthorpe, Peterborough for the last five months, first on the wards and lately with the fundraising team.

She said: “I’ve heard all these amazing stories about people in their 70s skydiving, groups climbing mountains and people running marathons and felt inspired to do something myself. Fire and Ice is giving me that opportunity.”

Kim, who lives in Orton Longueville, Peterborough will be tackling the firewalk at the event taking place on October 31 in the grounds of Thorpe Hall – after dark for added drama!

She will be raising money for Thorpe Hall Hospice, where her dad and mum-in-law were both cared for.

“I was so grateful for the care my relatives received and the support the wonderful staff and volunteers gave to us so I’ve been volunteering at the hospice.

“Now I’ve signed up to take on this challenge - I am very worried about burning my feet but they’ve assured me it’s perfectly safe!” said Kim.

Fire and Ice requires those taking part to battle their natural instincts.

Events fundraiser Jo Killick is organising the challenge and has tackled both a fire and glasswalk herself in the past.

She said: “When you’re faced with a five metre length of burning hot coals or shards of glass your natural instinct is to run away. But we’re asking people to beat that instinct and take a step forward.

“All the participants will have to take part in a workshop beforehand which is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. By the end of it people will be full of confidence, the nerves will have gone and they’ll be ready to take on the challenge.”

You can sign up to take part in Fire and Ice on the website www.sueryder.org/fireandice or call the fundraising team at Thorpe Hall on 01733 225999. Registration for one event costs £25 or if you’d like to glass and fire walk the cost is £40. There is a fundraising target of £150.

All the money raised will help to fund incredible care at Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough.

○ Head of content at the Rutland and Stamford Mercury, the Local and the Rutland Times Kerry Coupe will be joining Kim in taking on the firewalk in aid of Thorpe Hall.

Kerry had been hoping to complete a firewalk as part of a list of 30 challenges to mark her 30th birthday last month.

She said: “When I heard about Fire and Ice, it was perfect. I’ve never had personal experience of Thorpe Hall but having covered many stories on the hospice and spoken to many readers, I know what a difference the care makes to people’s lives when they need it the most.

“I’m not feeling nervous about the firewalk but the glasswalk was just a step too far!”

Any readers who would like to sponsor Kerry can do so by visiting www.virginmoneygiving.com/kerrycoupe.