A GROUP of friends are set to give up two nights of sleep to walk 125 miles in a bid to raise funds for Mary Stevens Hospice.

Made up of local residents and Stourbridge firefighters, the group have dedicated themselves to taking part in fundraising activities throughout the summer months, and last year raised more than £8,000 for patients at the charity.

Events in 2016 including numerous raffles, a cricket match and a 101-mile walk which they completed in just 48 hours, where they went without sleep for the whole two days to complete their mission.

The team will this year attempt to walk the extended 125-mile distance - without rest - from Borth to The Maverick pub, in Amblecote, between Friday, May 19, and Sunday, May 21, as tribute to hospice supporters Rae Timmins and Jane Webb.

The group will be greeted with a finishing party at 8pm at The Maverick and the hospice are encouraging anyone available that evening to come along and cheer the group over the line.

Mark ‘Taff’ Lewis, group member, said: “We did the 101 last year, and I think it’s fair to say it’s probably the hardest thing any of us have ever done.

“However, we also knew that we had to take it up another gear if we wanted people to sponsor us and support us again, so hopefully adding on the extra 24 miles will really generate that extra bit of support and help us raise more money for local families who need the hospice.

“Walking 125 miles is nothing compared to the strength and bravery shown by all of the patients there, and it’s our privilege to support them in any way we can.

“If that means going without sleep for a couple of days, then that’s what we'll do.”

The group have so far received heavy backing from The Maverick pub, as well as donations of water, energy bars and support vehicles from Tesco Stourbridge and Murphy's.

Dan Malin, digital media specialist at the Hagley Road hospice, added: “It’s up there with the most difficult things anyone has ever done for us.

“It’s not just the physical conditioning required to get yourself fit enough to complete the distance, but the mental endurance these men must have in order to walk that distance without sleep or rest is just remarkable.

“To put it simply, we’re utterly in awe of these men and we couldn’t be more proud to support them as they take on this remarkable challenge.”

As part of the weekend walk, the hospice will also be organising four, smaller public-participation canal walks, which will finish alongside the 125-mile challenge at the Brettell Lane pub.

To sponsor the group in their mammoth walking challenge and donate to Mary Stevens Hospice, visit www.justgiving.com/walk125