HEARTBEATS will fluctuate, blood will speedily circulate, and donations will be raised when a cancer charity established by a famed sports presenter sets off on its now-annual countryside trek.

The Helen Rollason Cancer Charity, which was formed by journalist Helen Rollason MBE in 1999 just before her tragic passing, held its first Rural Ramble through the tranquil woodlands of The Forgotten Gardens of Easton Lodge last year.

After more than 300 eager trekkers traipsed through Great Dunmow’s beautiful forest, generating over £5,000 in donations, the organisation has decided to embrace the idyllic greenery and placid environment once more.

Casual walkers looking to enjoy no more than a calming, afternoon saunter with their beloved pooch can walk the 1 or 4-mile trails, while the more driven and exercise-hungry wayfarers can opt to embark on a 10-mile hike.

Speaking about the forthcoming outing, which will see a group of fund-raising strollers enjoy the colourful gardens and seasonal flowers, Fundraising Coordinator Suzanne Watson said:

“We were absolutely blown away by the number of participants that joined us at our very first Rural Ramble and it was great to see families, groups of friends, children and dogs enjoying the walk and the stunning gardens.

‘‘This year we already have lots of people signed up and are looking forward to a great day out.’’

Helen Rollason died at the age of 43, mere months after being named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. She defiantly battled cancer of the colon, lungs and liver for exactly two years, following a diagnosis in August 1997.

Despite having 50 sessions of chemotherapy, Helen is said to have never missed a day at work – an example of true dedication that still inspires the ethos of a charity that continues to serve and aid 20 years on.

Suzanne said: “Our founder and inspiration’s vision was: ‘Good quality of life while coping with cancer is the most important gift a sick person can receive. It should be available to everyone.’ We continue her legacy by providing support for cancer patients’ emotional well-being, alongside their medical treatment. This remains at the core of the charity’s mission.”

To take part in the walk, taking place this Saturday, participants must pre-book by visiting www.helenrollason.org.uk or calling 01245 380719.