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Monday, March 18, 2024

Best friends to tackle canal walk in aid of 'lifeline' charity

* Jess Marshall, left, and her friend Grace Bennett will be tackling the Llangollen Canal Walk.

Two best friends will be stepping out at the Hope House Llangollen Canal Walk this weekend to raise money for the charity which has been a “lifeline”.

Jess Marshall, 18, from Norton-in-Hales near Market Drayton, is raising money for Hope House which has cared for her older sister Minnie for the past 16 years. She will be joined by her lifelong best friend Grace Bennett, also 18.

“It’s a cause that is very close to our hearts,” said Jess, a trainee accountant.

“Hope House has been a lifeline for families like mine, providing essential support and care for children with complex medical needs.

“Minnie suffers from a rare progressive degenerative neurological condition that has left her with profound disabilities and complex medical needs. As a family, we are forever grateful to Hope House for the incredible care they have provided to Minnie.”

* Jess Marshall and her sister Minnie.

Minnie’s genetic condition was diagnosed after hers and Jess’s younger brother Max died, aged two, in 2013, where a post-mortem revealed the condition.

Mum Liz Hall said Max sadly became ill and died too suddenly to have been able to use Hope House, but that she is so grateful Hope House was there for Minnie and the family.

“Hope House has not only given Minnie the best possible care but also allowed us to do things together as a family, knowing that Minnie is in safe hands,” said Liz.

“The care and support they have given has allowed Jess to have a very normal childhood in a very abnormal situation, having two seriously ill siblings.

“Grace has been best friends with Jess since they were small and has been by her side through everything, and it’s fitting they do the Llangollen Canal Walk together to raise money.”

Initially Jess and Grace had hoped to raise £250, but they have already smashed through their target and currently sit on £344.

You can donate to Jess and Grace’s fund by visiting

* The final tickets for the Llangollen Canal Walk are available, so if you would like to sign up for the event on Sunday March 24 then secure your place at

“Our Llangollen Canal Walk is always one of our most popular events,” said fundraiser Vicky Bradbeer.

“As we enter the run up to the events tickets always sell quickly, so make sure you sign up before the day to secure your place and avoid disappointment.”

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