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Mandy Blande prepares for charity trek through Kenya
For most people, the thought of trekking through an African safari park in the blistering heat is enough to send a shiver down your spine.
But intrepid horse rider Mandy Blande, from Watford, is preparing to do a five-day trek through Kenya to raise money for Penniwells Stables for the disabled, in Edgwarebury Lane, Elstree.
The mother-of-two first began volunteering at the stables four years ago when her children went to university, leaving her in the house alone.
She said she "fell in love" with the work and made it her mission to raise as much cash as possible for the stables, which helps people with physical and mental disabilities. Ms Blande, who lives in Byron Avenue, said: "It is absolutely brilliant seeing how much the kids enjoy themselves on the horses and seeing their progress.
"I know it is going to be tough and I am really nervous but I know it is also going to be worthwhile - that is what is spurring me on.
"I have been trying to train around five times a week by going to the gym and taking walks. I hope it will pay off."
The 54-year-old, a laboratory manager at Bio Products in Elstree, will join 24 other people in the 100 km trek through the Great Rift Valley, near Nairobi, next week.
They will not be able to shower at any point during the ten day walk, which also sees them climbing up steep mountains.
Ms Blande has so far managed to raise just over £300 for her cause. To sponsor her, visit http://www.charitychoice.co.uk/fundraiser/amandablande.
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