A HOSPICE charity dedicated to caring for the seriously ill has launched one of its most popular events, the Chilterns 3 Peaks Challenge, with the help of the staff from Arriva Buses in Aylesbury.

The event, which takes place on Sunday, September 14, offers participants a chance to walk through the gorgeous Chiltern Hills, with the option of a five, nine or 18 mile route along the Ridgeway.

Now in its sixth year, the challenge has regularly drawn in hundreds of people from across the region.

Arriva provides the buses required to stage the event, transporting participants between peaks and ensuring that walkers are able to return to their cars after they have finished their chosen route.

David Chapman, Duty Manager at Arriva, has already confirmed ten drivers who will give up their time in order to help the event run smoothly, as well as two engineers who have agreed to be on stand-by should there be any problems. Several members of staff at Arriva have first-hand experiences of cancer, with many friends, family and colleagues having had recent battles with the disease.

David said: "It’s great to see people doing something for such a good cause.

"Everyone is very grateful for the transport services we provide on the day; there’s a really friendly atmosphere and we very much enjoy being involved. It’s a very well-organised event too and the marshalling is always excellent."

Gemma Martin, Senior Events Fundraiser at Rennie Grove Hospice Care, said: "We’re extremely grateful to Arriva for supporting us again this year by providing the buses and to their drivers who give up their own time to take participants – including dogs – back to their cars at the school. We really couldn’t host the event without them.

"Last year, we had a fantastic turn out with more than 550 people taking part, raising over £30,000 - enough to fund a nurse for a year." Gemma added. "This year we’re once again encouraging those taking part to raise as much money as possible, either by asking friends, colleagues or family to sponsor them or by holding other fundraising events."

Registration for the Chilterns 3 Peaks Challenge costs £20 for adults and £10 for children (anyone aged five to 16 years old), with under 5s going free.

For more information visit www.renniegrove.org/chilterns3peaks or call 01442 820740.