Worthing pregnancy counselling centre chairman walking South Downs Way to raise money for the charity

Retired bank manager Richard Marshall has set off to walk the South Downs Way to raise money for Acorn Pregnancy Counselling Centre in Worthing.

Richard, an experienced walker, started the 100-mile trek on Monday and hopes to complete the journey from Winchester to Eastbourne in six days, travelling with his friend Chris Williams.

As the chairman of Acorn, based in Stanford Square, Richard is taking on the challenge ahead of its 25th anniversary next year.

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He said: “The South Downs Way is a challenge. I have walked part of it before and am looking forward to enjoying the Hampshire and Sussex countryside while helping a worthwhile charity.

Richard Marshall, chairman of Acorn Pregnancy Counselling Centre, is walking the South Downs Way to raise money for the charity ahead of its 25th anniversary

“We hope to be joined by others on the route with our aim being to raise funds for Acorn Pregnancy Counselling Centre.”

Acorn offers free counselling for anyone who needs help following an abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth.

The charity also helps women facing unintended pregnancy, offering them to time to talk and consider their options in an impartial, non-judgemental setting.

Richard said: “The value of Acorn’s work is shown in the comments we receive from clients, who say ‘thank you for giving me the steps to help me deal with the hardest time in my life’ and ‘I know I can deal with the bad feelings much easier now instead of hiding them away’.

“Thinking of comments like these will keep us going as we set out each morning on each leg of the trek.”

Acorn is a small charity that has had a big impact on the lives of its clients it serves.

Counselling volunteers have contact with around 50 people each year, providing free, non-directive support.

Through its schools team, it encourages students to consider issues around relationships and crisis pregnancy. Around 2,000 young people each year are helped to make informed decisions and choices in the future.

Visit www.acornworthing.org.uk for more information.

Visit www.give.net/southdownsway/fundraising to make a donation.