A DEDICATED nurse has placed herself in the top three fundraisers for a 130km walking challenge for charity.

Lea Finch, 56, of Fuller’s Close, Kelvedon, is a nurse at Tiptree Medical Centre specialising in respiratory illnesses such as asthma.

Despite her busy schedule, she decided to take on the month-long Our Everest challenge by the Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership in January.

The challenge involves walking 130km which is the same as the Everest base camp trek.

She managed to smash her target of £1,500 by raising £2,308, placing her in third place on the challenge’s leaderboard.

Mrs Finch said she was “absolutely thrilled” at the result.

She said: “It was just lovely to get that level of support from people.

“You really felt appreciated then and it feels good to know you have achieved a pretty significant amount of money for a charity which does such important work.

“I’ve worked with respiratory patients, I’ve been on an Asthma UK project in the past, and I’m a member of the BLF professionals to promote the charity.

“When I saw they were doing this walk, I thought I would quite like to do something to give back to the BLF and Asthma UK since they merged last year.

“I’ve been working with respiratory patients for the past 15 years so I thought it would be a good thing to do.

“I thought it’ll get me fit as well after we’ve had a lockdown and Christmas – I was feeling quite sluggish too.”

Lea managed to average out seven kilometres a day, mainly catching up between working at the GP surgery and helping at Covid vaccine clinics.

She walked around the village, to Tiptree and back, and further afield, discovering many different sites with her daughter Millie.

“I discovered some alpacas en route and my goal was to visit them as my treat,” she said.

“I think they were indifferent – they were like ‘Oh it’s her again, the alpaca botherer’.”

Lea hopes to do a challenge next year dedicated to her diabetes patients as she specialises in diabetic care as well.

Overall, the Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership has managed to raise more than £230,000 from the challenge.