AN ADVENTURE-seeker from Abingdon will fulfil a childhood dream by spending six months hiking the Appalachian Trail for charity.

Will Lawrence will walk the entire 2,190 mile trail between March and September.

He is hoping the mammoth challenge will help generate £10,000 in donations for national charity Water Aid and local group Guideposts Trust.

On his JustGiving page, the 26-year-old wrote: “I’m hoping through walking the trail I will raise not only much needed funds for the charities but awareness of the wonderful work they're doing and the people they’re helping”

“On March 15 of this year I fly out to Atlanta, Georgia, taking my first few steps of the few thousand towards my end goal in Portland, Maine, a whole 13 states later."

Talking about his inspiration for the hike, he explained: “I was 12 years old when I read Bill Bryson’s A Walk in The Woods, and it’s Bill, along with my parent’s bookcase, that I have to blame.

“This hike will be the toughest challenge I’ve ever faced, but I’m excited, and I’m really happy to be walking it for a charity close to my heart."

Water Aid helps provide clean water, decent toilets and hygiene knowledge to those in developing countries.

The Guideposts Trust, meanwhile, has been working in Oxfordshire for 46 years to support those who face a range of challenges, from dementia to autism, learning disabilities to mental health problems, their family and carers. They connect people through information, support and friendship in the local community.

Mr Lawrence has been granted a six-month sabbatical by employer Thames Water in order to complete the challenge, which he will take on with friend Sandy Shaban.

Chris Fulton, area operations manager for Thames Water, said: “I think this is an absolutely brilliant thing for Will to do, walk the Appalachian Trail whilst raising awareness and funds for two important charities, Guideposts and Water Aid.

“I can already see how much this is raising awareness, which is fantastic.

“I’m pleased that Thames has been able to provide Will the opportunity to undertake this and wish him every success and of course best of luck.”

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