A Bolton fundraiser is set to go the extra mile this month for vulnerable communities around the world.

Despite currently undergoing chemotherapy, Elsie Peel, an 85-year-old former teacher, will be taking part in a 70k in May challenge as part of this year’s Christian Aid Week.

The idea behind the challenge is to cover 70 kilometres in whatever way, in solidarity with millions of people who have to walk long distances for clean water or to sell their produce.

Elsie said: “Every year, during this appeal, people across Britain and Ireland have seven days and so many ways to raise funds to support their global neighbours, in a celebration of hope for a fairer world.

“I’m doing 70k in May because we are so fortunate in our part of the world that we do not have to struggle simply to survive, which is the destiny of so many.

“Christian Aid has done so much to empower people, and especially women, in many countries and I believe it needs all our support to keep up this work.

“The Christian ethic which infuses the organisation emphasises justice and love for all.

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“I shall be covering the 70k by walking locally. I did consider skipping, swimming, running or jumping - but decided I was marginally too old for these options!

“I shall walk round Doffcocker Lodge, a local beauty spot and wildlife area and enjoy the fresh air and burgeoning spring flowers and trees as I walk.

“There is an extra challenge at present as I am undergoing chemotherapy, but this does not hamper progress, in fact, the advice to patients is to get plenty of exercise so it’s a win/win situation – I hope!”

Money raised during Christian Aid Week will help the organisation’s partners empower vulnerable communities to find practical and sustainable ways out of poverty.

This year’s appeal - from May 12 to 18 - is focussing on work in Burundi, one of the most densely populated and poorest countries in Africa.

Heavily reliant on agriculture, it’s also one of the least prepared to combat the effects of climate change, including droughts, floods and landslides.

The global cost of living crisis has intensified the challenges with more than 70 per cent of the population live in poverty and more than half of children are chronically malnourished.

Christian Aid has been working in Burundi since 1995 when it first offered humanitarian assistance to people surviving the civil conflict.

Now, alongside local partners, the organisation helps establish Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs).

To support Elsie, please visit her JustGiving page: https://fundraise.christianaid.org.uk/challenge-2024/elsies-challenge.

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on X @chloewjourno.