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Melissa's 2013 Dartmoor Challenge
Raising money for Nowzad Dogs

What does your nominated charity mean to you?

Nowzad Dogs is a charity that is extremely close to my heart and one that I am very passionate about.  I have loved animals ever since I can remember with some of my earliest childhood memories involving putting food out for the local stray cat to saving a baby bird that had fallen out its nest. The dedication and passion displayed by the Nowzad team is truly inspiring despite the many challenges they face and the charities determination to not just make a difference now but to leave a lasting legacy for the animals of Afghanistan is one that I will always believe in. To me, making a difference to an animal that has spent its entire life with no hope and no body to care for them or has never known kindness is something that simply cannot be measured. 

What has been your biggest goal when it comes to this challenge?

My biggest goal throughout this challenge is to ensure that I am fit enough to be able to complete it. For anyone who knows me being active certainly isn't one of my strong points!!  With my weight also being an issue I set myself a goal to lose as much as I could before the challenge and I am now only 8 pounds away from my target having lost a total of 7 stone 3 pounds (101 pounds) 

What date will you complete your challenge?

I will complete my challenge on Sunday 22nd September 2013. 

Any message for those considering taking up their own challenge?

If you are considering taking part in a charity challenge then please do it!! I couldn't recommend it enough. It’s an absolutely fantastic experience made even better knowing that you are helping to raise vital funds for charity and making a difference to a cause you care about. 

The Challenge
On the 21st September I will taking part in a 15 mile trek across the wilds of Dartmoor followed by a 100ft climb and abseil.
The Charity
Nowzad Dogs is set up to relieve the suffering of stray & abandoned animals in Afghanistan, we hear everyday of the horrors of war but often do not hear much of the plight of animals that often struggle to survive against insurmountable odds. As a huge animal lover, Nowzad is v close to my heart & do incredible work in the hardest of circumstances
The Training
In order to take part in this challenge to raise vital funds for Nowzad Dogs & to do my part to make a difference to the animals that I care so much about, I embarked on my own very personal journey which has seen me lose 6 & a half stone (93 pounds) in just over a year. As my very first charity challenge ever it is something I previously could of only dreamed of taking part in & has given me the drive to not only raise as much as I can for Nowzad but to continue on the journey I have started.