Support worker takes on 25 mile challenge to raise funds for Heads On

A support worker from Chichester is taking on the challenge of walking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru to raise money for adults with learning disabilities and mental health difficulties.

Laura Stapleton works as a Senior Support Worker at the Selden Centre in Worthing, an assessment and treatment unit for adults with learning disabilities that have challenging behaviour, mental health difficulties and other complex needs. Her fundraising for Heads On, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s charity, will help fully refurbish a much needed sensory room at the Selden Centre.

The Inca Trail in South America is 25 miles long and reaches an elevation of 13,776 feet, ending at the glorious ruins of Machu Picchu. Laura will be taking on this challenge in November, and will spend four days and three nights completing the expedition.

Laura is asking for everyone to get behind her and show their support: “I want to raise money for Heads On and the Selden Centre because I have witnessed the positive difference that fundraising can have on the ward for our patients.

“The patients at the Selden Centre have a variety of sensory needs, which is why I would really like to raise money that will go towards refurbishing our sensory room.

“I have set myself the goal of raising £1,000 but if possible, I’d really love to raise more!”

Laura will travel around South America for three months, and will be completing the trek during this time: “I think this is a fantastic opportunity to raise money for a really worthy cause, but is also a brilliant challenge for me to try and improve my own physical health and fitness.”

Whilst Laura is in Peru her colleagues at the Selden Centre and across Sussex Partnership will be joining in to ‘Match Machu’, where they will be taking up their own fundraising challenges with the aim of matching her ‘distance’ and her fundraising target. Staff will choose to take on a challenge  of ‘25 of something’ (in support of the 25 mile trek that Laura will be walking) – to do 25 minutes of exercise, run 25 miles in a week, bake and sell 25 cakes, either as a team or on their own.

Felicity Louden, Head of Charity at Heads On, said: “People can take on the Match Machu challenge in their own way, and we think it’s a great way of involving staff, family and friends that also have links to the Selden Centre.

“We are encouraging people to be as imaginative as they like and have fun whilst raising vital funds for a great local charity.

“Laura is taking on an unbelievable challenge and this is a brilliant way of us supporting her as well as making a real difference to the amount she’s raising. It’s really important that she knows we are with her and supporting her all the way.”

To sponsor Laura and help support Heads On, go to

To find out more about Heads On and how you can fundraise to support your local mental health service, go to