A busy mum with a passion for running jetted out to Ethiopia this week to lend a hand in a poverty-stricken community as she trains for her 14th London Marathon.

Journalist and mum of two Sarah Parfitt from Cookham is travelling to Gende Tesfa to train a group of community journalists in the area, which has been badly hit by leprosy.

Working with Partners For Change, she will also use her the time in Africa to put in the miles as she works towards April’s marathon, where she will raise money for the poverty charity.

And the dedicated runner will be hoping to avoid last year’s marathon experience when she tore cartilage in her knee just two miles from the finish.

Sarah, who trains at the Crowne Plaza in Marlow and with Cookham Running Club, said: "I am a journalist, mother and marathon fun runner and I have just started training for the London Marathon. If I can run 26.2 miles, anyone can!

"If the going gets tough, one thought will carry me through the next three months. I am raising money for Partners For Change Ethiopia, a very special charity which has been changing the lives of children in impoverished communities in Ethiopia for more than 30 years.

"Last year I was fortunate enough to see the groundbreaking work that the charity is doing for myself in Bahir Dar, and it was incredibly moving. If I can give just one a child a roof over their head, access to fresh water or an education, then my run will have been worthwhile."

Mrs Parfitt also gave an assembly about her trip to pupils at her children's school, Holy Trinity in Cookham, with the youngsters sending gifts for their counterparts in the poverty-hit African community.

Sarah is keeping a blog of her experiences www.diaryofamarathonmum.wordpress.com and her fundraising page can be found at www.justgiving.com/Sarah-Parfitt1