THE Great Wall of China beckons for three friends from south Essex who will trek the world-famous landmark to raise £10,000 for charity.

Lauren Fuery and Helen Henley, both 24, and Danielle Fowles, 35, are gearing up for the challenge that will see them walk for up to eight hours a day for seven days along the wall.

Lauren and Helen, who both work at South Essex College, in Basildon , met Danielle, who works at Basildon Hospital , through a Facebook page set up for the group taking part in the trek, which will raise money for Heart Radio’s Have a Heart charity, which is supporting Childline this year.

Lauren, from Laindon, said the group have been running up and down the steps at Laindon station to get fit.

She said: “Although we’ve been training, we’re not sure the steps can even prepare us for what we’re about to take on. “The Great Wall is very steep and the terrain is unforgiving, so trekking for long periods of time is going to be a huge challenge.”

After finding out they worked near to each other, the trio decided to organise a family fun day at St Peter’s Church, in Thundersley, on Saturday, October 27.

Danielle, from Benfleet , added: “We’ve raised about a third of our target so far by holding everything from raffles, dress-down days, leg waxes and charity meals, but we’re hoping the family fun day will be a huge success and raise lots of money for Childline.”

The fun day will be open from 1.30pm until 5.30pm. Stalls cost £5 and entry is 50p. Under-tens go free.

For more information about booking a stall, contact Danielle on 07912 450314 or e-mail