ATHLETE Rachael Fishwick is set to stride out on her biggest challenge to date - all in aid of a worthy cause.

For the 23-year-old, a member of the St Helens Striders club, is tackling the London Marathon to raise money for the local Sue Ryder Care home as a special thank-you' for their efforts on behalf of her grandmother.

Rachael (pictured, right) has completed a number of half-marathons but this will be the first time she has taken on the full 26-mile distance and she is hoping to finish in less than four-and-a-half hours and collect more than £3,000 in sponsorship for the home.

Sue Ryder Care, based at Birchley Hall, Billinge, provides residential care for 31 elderly residents, while respecting their individual needs and promoting independence of thought and action.

Last year they secured a funding boost of £7,700, courtesy of the Star's parent, company Gannett, but they still need around £40,000 a year to keep the vital resource running.

Rachael said: "In the past two years I have run five half-marathons but I have never taken on such a big challenge.

"I am really looking forward to it though and I hope that as many people as possible will help me raise funds for such a worthwhile cause.

"My grandmother receives a fantastic level of care at Birchley Hall. The staff are always very friendly and take time to talk with visitors, which really sets them apart."

n To add your support, you can sponsor Rachael online at: