South Woodford businesswomen’s group braves the cold and mud in hospice challenge

14:35 21 February 2013

Women from The Athena Network wade through the mud as part of the challenge

Women from The Athena Network wade through the mud as part of the challenge


They clambered through mud, braved icy cold waters in kayaks and took their chances with space hoppers for transportation but a group of Redbridge businesswomen successfully completed a lung-bursting challenge for charity.

The team of nine, who all met through South Woodford business group The Athena Network, rose to the occasion to take on the Mud N Madness 7.5km endurance test.


The army-style race at Stubbers Adventure Centre in north-east London included a 1,400m trail run, an assault course, archery and 2,400m of “mud alley”.

They took part to raise funds for St Francis Hospice in Havering-atte-Bower.

Team member Nicola Smith, of Woodford Green, who has a franchise of The Revival Group that cleans up offices after fire or water damage, said: “It was a challenge, but good fun. I hit the archery target first time. We were pleased to be able to support the hospice.”

The women completed the challenge on February 9 and organisers have now estimated that they, and around 90 other people who took part, will have raised at least £20,000 for the hospice’s valuable work.

The business network meets in Prezzo restaurant in High Road, South Woodford, every month.

Other Redbridge racers took part, including three former school friends from Caterham High School in Caterham Avenue, Clayhall.

Tina Cole, from Hainault, Mandy Cubitt and Julia Turner, from Ilford, had lost touch with each other but reunited to take part in Mud N Madness.

Teachers from Christchurch Primary School in Wellesley Road, Ilford – Emma Blackwell, Sally Thomas and Kerry Nethercott – formed the Mud Larks team and beat their fundraising target of £100.

Emma said: “Before I took part I was nervous, but I loved every second of it.

“A colleague was cared for by the hospice and many people are touched by the specialist care provided by the charity so we were pleased to be able to support such a worthy cause.”

To find out more about the hospice, which helps more than 3,000 people, and to donate visit


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