Observer reporter gets glammed up for Hike in Heels

editorial image

With a floral dress and some beads I am almost ready to join the elite of brave men for the Hike in Heels on May 20.

My transformation from man to wo-man is nearly complete and my pair of heels are on their way to me in the post for the event, which is in aid of St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

Walking through Chichester with no grace, elegance or sophistication, I will raise pennies for this worthwhile cause, one wobbly heel step at a time.

A lot of thanks must go to hospice staff, who have been only too happy in helping me find some fetching attire for the occasion.

Communications and events manager at the hospice Jill Dennison said: “We’ve had a few more entries in, including one from a 16-year-old who was keen to raise funds in memory of his grandmother.

“I think it’s going to be great. Fingers crossed the weather will be good on the day.”

The brave men taking part will be transported to South Street by a Stagecoach bus to begin their walk. Then they will saunter through the city centre, up North Street, and head back to Chichester Rugby and Football Club for a well deserved pie and pint.

Management accountant at the hospice Mike Mengham, 41, was one of the first contestants to sign up for the second Hike in Heels event.

Mr Mengham had been quietly working at the hospice since June 2011. But his female colleagues saw him in a different light after he announced he had a frock, including accessories, already prepared for the event.

He will be joined by hospice volunteer Barry Tester, 72, who last year raised £400. This year he has already raised £430.

The top individual fundraiser will be rewarded with a cut and luxury conditioning treatment by a stylist at local hairdressers Buzby and Blue.

The top fundraising team will win a case of beer to share among themselves. There will also be a special prize for the best dressed ‘lady’.

Entry is just £10 which includes a fun warm-up session before you start the walk.

At the rugby and football club, walkers can compete for the title of the ‘Brainiest Hiker in Heels’ in a quiz. Quiz entry is just £1 and there will be a prize for the winners.

The money raised from the event will help the hospice with its annual running costs of £5.7m, equivalent to £15,517 per day. Currently NHS funding contributes only 14 per cent of the hospice’s annual expenditure. To sponsor me for the Hike in Heels, please log on to