China in their hands - with a little help

HELPING HAND: Neil and Lynne flank Brenda Bland, group administration manager for Springs, as they receive their honorary membership.  Looking on is fitness instructor Chris I'Anson, who will help them with training and guidance
HELPING HAND: Neil and Lynne flank Brenda Bland, group administration manager for Springs, as they receive their honorary membership. Looking on is fitness instructor Chris I'Anson, who will help them with training and guidance

A brother and sister are getting a helping hand as they gear up for five days of Chinese adventure.

Psychiatric nurse Neil Sutheran and schools nurse Lynne Dutton, from Hartlepool, will be charity walking along the Great Wall of China in May.

They have received help to ensure they are fit enough to complete the five-day ordeal.

Springs has granted them honorary memberships of their fitness complex overlooking Hartlepool Marina to make use of the training facilities and to benefit from advice and guidance from the resident team of fitness experts.

Lynne said: “Springs granted us similar support and help before the Andes sponsored trek we made in 2009.

“It proved a real Godsend. The terrain and high altitude were even more demanding than we had feared but the fitness training beforehand, plus the guidance on nutrition and how to pace ourselves, stood us in good stead.”

Lynne and Neil raised more than £13,000 towards the record total of £190,000 the Andes venture produced for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The couple aim to raise a minimum of £10,000 for the same charity when they are in China where they will be accompanied by another brother, Ian, who lives in Manchester.

Since their mother died from motor neurone disease, her three children have dedicated themselves to helping medical experts find a cure and to determine the best way of caring for sufferers.

Lynne and Neil are pictured receiving their honorary memberships. A spokesman said: “We like to see ourselves as an integral part of Hartlepool so we are happy to extend a helping hand to local people like Lynne and Neil who are taking on an awesome physical task to raise money for a really worthwhile charity.

“We wish the trio every success in their venture and in their drive to obtain sponsorship support.”