A carer whose mother passed away two weeks ago was just one of the hardy walkers who set out on the South Downs Way to raise money for The Argus Appeal.

Denise Butlin, of Henfield, joined The Argus editor and Argus Appeal chairman Michael Beard for the start of the six-day, 100-mile walk.

Denise, accompanied by her rescue border collie Josh, looked after her mother for 13 years. She signed up for the Argus Appeal event months ago.

She said: “I took this time off for respite from caring for her.

Unfortunately my mother passed away on June 12. I wasn’t going to do the walk, but I decided to in the end and it’s done me the world of good. It’s what she would have wanted.

“Josh has dragged me around.

We’ve had him since Christmas and this is part of his rehabilitation programme as he’s been abused but he’s done really well.”

Ten walkers started out in Winchester yesterday and completed at least 19 miles to East Meon.

Mr Beard said: “We didn’t get off to the best of starts because we took a wrong turn, which probably added two miles.

“But it’s been a glorious day, the weather couldn’t be better. One or two got a bit sunburnt and there are one or two blisters. We’re all looking forward to a nice warm bath.

“I don’t know this part of the world at all and you really do get to appreciate the stunning scenery walking like this. It’s so clear you can see the Isle of Wight.”

Phil Frier, interim principal of K College, Kent, said: “We were at the back today, we were trying to keep up with the others – it was a startling performance.

“The nice thing is you get to walk with different people, so there’s been some fantastic stories.”

More than 20 walkers will set off from East Meon today for the 16 miles to Cocking.

The walk also takes in stops at Washington, Ditchling, Alfriston before finishing at Beachy Head on Sunday.

The Argus Appeal supports the relief of sickness, poverty, hardship and provides benefits for the lonely, needy, elderly and underprivileged, plus children and others considered appropriate by the trustees in the Sussex area.

To support Michael for the Argus Appeal go to tinyurl.com/obywx9j.