IN her daily job Alison Power keeps Colchester Hospital running in her role as director of operations.

But orchestrating a 24/7 acute hospital will seem like child’s play compared to her forthcoming challenge.

Alison is stepping out of her comfort zone to tackle a mountain range to raise money for the hospital’s new cancer centre.

Along with her partner, Richard Stace, Alison will be trekking the GR221 Drystone Route along the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range in Mallorca.

She is taking on the task to raise vital funds for the Cancer Centre Campaign.


The £3.25 million fundraising drive, run by Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity and supported by the Gazette, will pay for a new cancer centre at Colchester Hospital where all services are at the same location.

The Collingwood Centre will bring chemotherapy, haematology and radiotherapy under one roof and will be complemented by a well-being centre which will provide complementary therapies, advice and support.

Alison, 51, starts the 140km hike on April 24 and she will have someone special on her mind throughout the arduous journey.

Her mum Joan Poole died from cancer in 2003. After being diagnosed with breast cancer at 49, Joan was cared for at Ipswich Hospital before she died from bowel cancer aged 55.

Alison said: “When I think about the access to services my mum had 15 years ago and what we are doing here at the hospital now, it’s just the right thing to do in her memory.

“It’s made it a bit more real in terms of the age I am and what I’d want if that happened to me.

“I’ve never done anything like this before but it’s an area we love so we just thought we would combine something we wanted to do with some meaning to it.

“It’s a personal challenge and something that’s really important to us and I hope people will support us.”

Training has taken Alison, Richard and their dog Cookie along the flat routes surrounding the rivers Stour and Orwell but now the more undulating terrain of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains beckons.

She said: “I’m apprehensive, but I’m looking forward to it. I know I can do the walk, what I don’t know is how I’ll manage to do it every single day, it’s a mental challenge too.”

To support Alison, click here