A UNIVERSITY of Brighton student is embarking on a 176-mile hike to raise money for The Sussex Beacon.

Sammie Aplin is walking from Brighton to Devon over nine days, taking in the South Downs, New Forest and Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.

The Sussex Beacon is a Brighton-based charity offering specialist care for people living with HIV. The organisation has seen its budget cut recently following a reduction in funding from the NHS.

Sammie and her partner Paul Bailey, who will set off on their trek today, wanted to do something to help.

Sammie said: “I used to work in clinical research at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust and some of the patients expressed their concerns over funding cuts to the charity.

“It is such an important support service set up for people living with HIV and their families and it seemed unfair that a service rated as outstanding was struggling to stay open.”