A BRAVE explorer is paying tribute to a late relative by conquering one of the seven modern wonders of the world – the Great Wall of China.
Emma Beardmore, from Uttoxeter, is limbering up for the 60-mile trek to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society after her great aunt died from the illness last year.
The journey, which starts when the 24-year-old flies out to the Far East on Thursday, will include trekking through a mountain village along a stretch of wall called The Heavens Ladder in Huangyaguan.
Ms Beardmore, an income services assistant for Stafford and Rural Homes, will also travel up the fertile valleys of Junshanlin and a hilly circuit of restored wall at Juyongguan before returning to a base in Beijing.
She said: “I have never done anything like this before so rather than going on my traditional sunny holiday break I thought I’d like to do something completely different which is also for a good cause.
“Alzheimer’s is a condition which not only affected my great aunt but also others close to me and people I care about which is why I’ve chosen to support the Alzheimer’s Society on this trek.
“The charity does fantastic work to support people with the illness and their families.”
To prepare for the trek Emma has been racking up the miles on the step machine, running uphill and doing spinning classes in the gym.
Chief executive of Stafford and Rural Homes Karen Armitage passed on her best wishes to her employee.
She said: “We wish Emma the best of luck on what sounds like the trip of lifetime and I hope she manages to raise lots of money for a great charity.”
The Great Wall was built between BC 220 and 206 by the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang to keep out nomadic invaders.
It has since been used to aid border control and several watch towers and troop barracks have been constructed there.
It is thought that the wall is visible from the earth’s orbit but scientists have recently disputed this.
Anyone who wants to contribute to Ms Beardmore’s cause can do so online at www.justgiving.com/EmmaBeardmore1989.