Jo Egan

Care for the Carers' Director of Services, Jo Egan, and her partner, Tim Caceres, are marking the charity's 30th Anniversary this year with a very special challenge.

To help raise much-needed funds for carers, the couple will be walking the 100-mile South Downs Way from Winchester to Eastbourne, from 23 to 27 May 2019.

Jo, who has worked at Care for the Carers since 2016, was inspired to work with carers following her experience during her teenage years of caring for her mum, who had mental and physical health problems.

Jo says "Dealing with Mum's agoraphobia and poor mobility was tough, but it was nothing compared to the challenges faced by the carers our team speak to every day – they come to us isolated, unsupported, at breaking point and not knowing where to turn. Care for the Carers' 30th anniversary year felt like a fitting time for me to take on a personal challenge to do my bit in changing that picture – trying to move us closer to a time when no one is left to care alone."

“Everyone who knows Tim and I and our aversion to the gym will know what a challenge the walk will be for us – I hope that this motivates them to dig deep for a cause that’s close to our hearts! The funds we raise will help Care for the Carers to reach more carers and to make a difference to more carers' lives," Jo continues.

Two children holding a Care for the Carers banner in a fieldTim, who works at Mayo Wynne Baxter Solicitors, says, "I saw first-hand what pressures carers face and just how difficult being a carer is when my Gran was diagnosed with dementia and my Mum became her carer. I hope that our walk goes some way to helping Care for the Carers to reach out to the many more carers who need their support."

Jo’s children, Tom, 12, and Freya, 9, were the catalyst in making the walk happen. And not to be upstaged, they're also taking part in the action!

Inspired when they cheered along a group of young adult carers (YAC) to complete the Gauntlet Games and raise funds for Care for the Carers last year, Tom, a pupil at Ratton School in Eastbourne, says, "I figured if the YACs can do it, when they already do so much in their caring roles, then I've got no excuse."

"Me and Freya are going to walk the last (and I reckon the toughest!) part of the South Downs Way – all of the Seven Sisters and all the way back to Eastbourne. I think I’ll have to give Freya a bit of help as she’s only got little legs,” says Tom.

Freya, of Tolgate Junior School, says “Seeing the YACs get all muddy was really cool and I’m sure we can raise loads of money for carers. I hope the hills aren’t too hard – I’m just gonna look forward to the sweets at the end!”

Jo Egan