Linda Read from Chandler’s Ford never stops doing crazy things.
What has she done in the past 15 years? Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, a 100-mile trek along the Great Wall of China, parachute jump, flying a microlight plane, paragliding off a mountain in Turkey……
In March – April, Linda will be trekking to Everest Base Camp. You can support her on Wednesday at her house in Chandler’s Ford for a Cake sale and Bring and Buy.
Let’s read about Linda Read’s crazy story.
Linda is only 65 years old. She has lived in Chandler’s Ford for over 40 years. Her house name is succinctly called, Welivere.
The watershed moment in her life came when Linda’s husband Russel died 20 years ago. Though bereaved, Linda wanted to live life to the full, have fun and set a good example to her children. She understands too well that life is too short, and time is precious.
Linda challenged herself with parachute jumping in Upavon, Wiltshire for her 50th birthday fifteen years ago. Other challenges later included abseiling, scuba diving, skiing, walking on hot coal (well, Linda said it’s ‘mind over body’), parascending, indoor skyflight, and in October 2012, trekking along the Great Wall of China. Linda also did relatively mild challenges of a smaller scale, such as walking from Winchester Cathedral to Salisbury Cathedral last year, and running in Race for Life for Cancer Research.
Linda: Inspirational and passionate
Linda is inspiring with energy and passion. Yet she speaks softly without taking herself too seriously.
Linda has 5 children and 14 grandchildren. I won’t be surprised her grandchildren can’t keep up with her pace.
Linda is an educator. She teachers First Aid for the Red Cross and she was a college lecturer teaching Health and Social Care.
Linda is also an active member of the parish church. Over the past 30 years, she and a few volunteers in Chandler’s Ford collected money for The Children’s Society. In last year’s Christingle service at St. Boniface church, Linda and a few volunteers prepared about 100 beautiful Christingles for children.
What is Reiki?
I was surprised to know that Linda is also a Reiki healer. Rei means universal life and Ki means energy. When I visited her last week with my son, I was intrigued by her fascinating Reiki stories.
I first heard about Reiki about 12 years ago, when my son was diagnosed with a rare condition called Langerhans’ cell Histiocytosis (LCH) and he received a year of chemotherapy treatment at Piam Brown Ward in Southampton General Hospital. A lot of people told me they were praying for baby Ben, lighting a candle in the church, or burning an incense in the temple. A kind acquaintance also told me she was sending energy through Reiki to help Ben.
I asked Linda a silly question: Is Reiki some sort of supernatural, Doctor Who kind of thing? Well, one day I’ll find out more about Reiki from Linda.
What is the Holiday At Home programme?
Linda’s spirit of fun and community permeates everything she does for the community.
Linda masterminds The Holiday at Home programme in Chandler’s Ford. The programme has been running for almost five years in Chandler’s Ford and is currently held every 6 – 8 weeks, from 10.30am – 4 pm, costing £5 per person at St. Boniface Church. Linda and a small team of helpers cater for senior citizens in Chandler’s Ford community with 38 people registered and 30 regularly attending during 2013.
Linda: “Guests have a welcoming cup of tea or coffee, fresh cooked main lunch, with a choice of more than six desserts (mainly good old-fashioned ones) and afternoon tea. Entertainment ranges from armchair aerobics to good music from 30s, 40s and 50s, musicians and singers, a magician and Father Christmas who visited in December. There are draw prizes, different types of quizzes and bingo, with the emphasis on fun. The dedicated team of helpers prepare and serve the food and also help the guests as necessary.”
Linda, why did you choose Everest Base Camp for your challenge?
Linda: “I have chosen Everest Base Camp as my latest challenge for a couple of reasons. I wanted to visit Nepal and Kathmandu and thought it would be good to combine it with the trek, and as you do not know what is around the corner of our lives, I thought – let’s go for it!”
“Life is too short so I intend to do as many challenges as possible and enjoy life to the full. And if I can raise money for others less fortunate than me then it is a bonus.”
Thank you Linda for your inspirational story. Your passion for the community has touched me and will also inspire many more people to devote our time, energy, and our love for the community, especially supporting vulnerable and less fortunate people.
Good luck with your mountain trek to Everest Base Camp. We’ll want more stories from you when you come back.
Cake Sale and Bring & Buy
Wednesday 26th February, 10am – 3pm.
At Linda Read’s House
Welivere, 5A Tyrrel Road SO53 1GG
Telephone: 023 8026 1138
Linda: “I am hoping people will come along for a cup of coffee and tea or lunch and help me raise money for The Children’s Society, which is the charity I have chosen to support whilst trekking to Everest Base Camp in March/April.”