Walking through extreme challenges to show kindness

InXpress Ltd

Not many people are prepared to go out of their way to Give Back to charity, but InXpress is built on this core value. And the staff at Head Office are as committed as their franchise network.

Most people who go on holiday, tend to relax and put their feet up after working hard. However there are a handful of people who chose to do something different, something special, something which takes them out of their comfort zone. Trekking an old route, such as the Camino de Santiago Trail, is not for the faint-hearted. Its 800km route starts in France, and ends in Spain, with options to walk-on to Portugal – another 200km. There are also recognised parts of the Camino de Santiago Trail in the UK and Ireland, for those who want to start clocking up their miles before they go.

Of course, you can do one of the several shorter routes, which is exactly what InXpress’ Global Head of Marketing, Melanie Martin, is doing. With an average of 20km per day, for five consecutive days, Mel and her team will complete the final 115km of the Trail, from Sarria to Santiago. Of why she’s decided to take on the challenge Mel said, “The Camino Trail is something my dad has talked about for years! He’s 83 now, and although he walks for miles every day, he doesn’t feel up to walking the Trail. So, my brother and I are doing it together, with our partners, on his behalf. We’ll take him with us, through the videos and photos we’ll send him.”

The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage route people do for many reasons: For some, it’s to escape their hectic lives. For others, it’s a chance to re-evaluate life. While others relish the achievement of hiking so far, over amazing landscapes. “For us, it’s also about the mental wellbeing aspect,” Mel says. “As an editor, dad had heard about the Trail’s benefits and the camaraderie of people you meet with the shared experience of embarking on such a significant journey. It’s these elements which had inspired him… and in turn us. We can go to some beautiful holiday places, but most of us still have our phones to remind us of life back home.”

In true InXpress style, Mel’s using this experience to gain more than personal benefits. At the heart of InXpress is the desire to Give Back. So, Mel is using this opportunity to raise money for a charity she cares deeply about. “Every year, I like to do something for charity: Two years ago, I raised money for Anthony Nolan who found the right donor for my sister’s bone marrow transplant. Last year, I supported the InXpress Women’s Conference chosen charity, Mentors International. This year, as a lover of animals, with a street cat from Corfu I rescued, I’ve chosen to support Many Tears Rescue.”

The charity rescues abandoned ex-breeding dogs, rehoming them so they can retire. “I saw the most gorgeous Cavapoo puppy, Bambi, on their website,” Mel explains about why she’s chosen this charity. “The breeder had given him up because of a heart defect. So, Many Tears Rescue took him in, fundraised for heart surgery, then found him a new home. I was on the list, but so were many others! He was beautiful! Some breeders care only about the money, so once a dog’s served its purpose, or has a defect they get rid of them. If it wasn’t for charities like this, who knows what would happen to these dogs. As a dog lover, to know I’m not just doing it for myself, will spur me on through the harder parts of the Trail.”

Mel says her philosophy is as Ricky Gervais says, “Animals are not here for us to do as we please with. We are not their superiors, we are their equals. We are their family. Be kind to them.” It’s for this reason, she is preparing to put her feet through their paces, in order to reach her goals: both Santiago and her fundraising target.

Good luck, Mel… we’ll be cheering you on! Don’t forget to look after your feet on the journey!

Find out more about Mel’s challenge, on her GoFundMe page: www.gofundme.com/f/100km-walk-in-5-days

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