A FAMILY will spend this weekend hiking a marathon distance to Stonehenge in memory of a neighbour who died of cancer on Valentine's Day.

Penny Morris, her husband Bob and 11-year-old son Jack, all of Heron Close, Four Lane Ends, Blackburn, decided to take part in an organised 26-mile walk along the historic Sarsden trail, in Wiltshire, to raise funds for the East Lancashire Hospice, in Blackburn.

Their friend and neighbour Rowena Earrey was cared for at the hospice with cancer of the pancreas before she died in February this year.

Rowena's husband of 37 years, Michael, has paid tribute to his neighbours for their fundraising.

And he said his wife would want the hospice to benefit from her memory.

Rowena, a mother-of-three, died there less than six months after being diagnosed with cancer.

She also spent time in the hospice during her illness.

Michael, 59, said: "We have been trying hard to raise money for the East Lancashire Hospice in Rowena's memory because she really liked it there. It's totally different to a hospital.

"The staff were amazing.

"For about four days when Rowena was very ill our entire family was camped out there constantly.

"They were very patient and understanding, which helped us a lot. It's important they are able to carry on the work they do for others," he added.

The Morris family is being sponsored to trek the Sarsden trail from Avebury, in Wiltshire, to Stonehenge to raise money for the hospice.

Penny said: "We decided to take part in this after seeing the positive experience of the hospice when we lost Rowena.

"It was very dignified and everyone had a chance to say goodbye with no stress or pressure."

If anyone wants to sponsor the family on their marathon trek, they can call 01254 583311.