An intrepid learning disability nurse preparing to take on a gruelling trek in memory of her mother is using her time in the spotlight to fly the flag for her profession.
Jo Light will tackle the 26-mile Jurassic Coast Mighty Hike, which stretches along the world heritage coast from Weymouth to Wareham, on 15 June to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
“The smile I get from someone at the end of the day is simply priceless”
She will be walking the near marathon distance in honour of her mother, who died at 49 from bowel and liver cancer and who inspired her to enter nursing.
“It was mum’s dream for me to become a nurse, and I’m so proud that I’ve been able to do just that,” added Ms Light, a community learning disability nurse with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s northern learning disability service in Horsham.
And with the trek falling in the same year as learning disability nursing celebrates its centenary, Ms Light is taking the opportunity to highlight her profession as part of her fundraising efforts.
Emphasising her love for nursing, Ms Light said: “My job is amazing; it’s just the most rewarding career.
“I work with some fantastic individuals, and together, with their family, we work out what care and support they need to live the life they want,” she added.
“There is no typical day because every person I work with is unique, and that’s what makes it so enjoyable,” said Ms Light.
“I feel like I make a real difference and the smile I get from someone at the end of the day is simply priceless,” she noted. “That’s all the thanks I need.”
Ms Light explained that she would be walking in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support because she wanted other families to be able to benefit from the support that she received from the charity when her mother was ill.
In preparation for hike along the Jurassic Coast, Ms Light has been training six days a week, doing a mix of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and boxing classes, alongside weight sessions and lots of walking along the South Downs with her two Border Collies.
Ms Light said she wanted to challenge her herself physically and mentally with this walk, and added: “The Jurassic Coast was one of my mum’s favourite places to go on holiday, and I know that she will be there with me.”
To support Ms Light, visit her fundraising page.