Little charity champ Madison plans canal trek

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A Burnley girl taking charity in her stride will embark on her toughest fund-raising challenge yet, as she plans to walk the 54 miles from Burnley to Leeds.

Madison Regan (nine), of Grove Street, Burnley, will undertake the ambitious trek in the autumn, walking to Keighley on Friday, September 9th, with her mum Jackie (32) and her brother Charlie (13).

The trio will spend the night in Keighley before completing their journey to Leeds on the Saturday.

The seeds of the amazing feat, which will raise money for Pendleside Hospice, were planted when Madison was out on a family walk along the canal. Noticing the signs for Leeds, she asked her mum where the canal went.

“I said ‘one way goes to Leeds and one way goes to Liverpool’,” explains Jackie. “And she said ‘wouldn’t it be funny if we walked to Leeds?’ I said ‘Madison, Leeds is a long way, we’re not walking to Leeds!’ and she was like, ‘why not?’”

Jackie said: “I have absolutely no a clue about what goes through her head. We laughed it off a little bit, like ‘Okay sweetheart’, but she just kept going on about this walk to Leeds.”

Madison, who attends Brunshaw Primary School, is no stranger to charity, having cut off 10 inches of her hair just days before Christmas in 2014 to donate to the Little Princess Trust, who make wigs for terminally ill children.

Inspired by meeting a Make a Wish Foundation cancer patient while on holiday in Florida, Madison – just seven at the time – raised £1,000 for the trust, and was only too keen to jump at the chance to engage in more charitable acts.

“My grandma has got cancer and so we said if you’re adamant to do it we’ll do it for a charity,” Jackie explained.

“She just said ‘we can do it’. We’d dismissed her at first, but every morning she’d wake up and ask about it again and this went on for a good few mornings. She’s a very strong minded little girl,” says Jackie.

When Jackie found out that the distance her daughter was so keen to walk was indeed 54 miles, she had to sit her down and try to impress upon her the scale of the challenge. But Madison was undeterred.

“We originally thought it was 29 miles,” said Jackie. “We looked at it and when we found it was 54 I had to sit down with her again and explain it was 54. And she just said, ‘so? I’m still doing it, I don’t care what it takes, we’re doing it’. She’s roped me in as well!”

Madison is aiming to raise £500 for the hospice, which she visited recently – a trip which Jackie says has only spurred her on.

“We went up to the hospice to have a look around. They’ve been absolutely brilliant. She was very humbled by everything that they do and it was an absolutely amazing place, and it made it even more certain that this is what she was doing and she wanted to help as much as she can.

“She absolutely amazes me. From chopping off her hair; at Christmas she made soup for the homeless - she’s amazing and she takes it in her stride. I don’t think she quite understands what a beautiful thing it is that she’s doing.

“She surprises me everyday. She’s so caring and it makes me emotional thinking about it. I’m so proud of everything she does and there are days when I stop and think I must be doing something right!”

Donations can be made via phone by texting the code MOOS65 with the donation amount to 70070. Madison’s JustGiving page can also be found at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Madison-Regan1