THE wife of former England rugby coach Brian Ashton is on track to raise more than £6,000 for a small Wiltshire charity that helps children with developmental delays and difficulties, including her grandson Torben.

Helen Ashton, from Lancaster, is putting her best foot forward to raise funds for Wiltshire Portage when she takes part in the 62.5-mile ‘Race to the Stones’ event between Wantage and Avebury.

The 24-hour walk along The Ridgeway begins on Saturday, 15 July and finishes at Avebury on Sunday, 16 July. One of the oldest trails in England, it crosses the Chilterns and the North Wessex Downs.

Wiltshire Portage provides a home visiting educationally service to children from birth to school age with developmental delays and difficulties. The charity receives money from Wiltshire Council but has to fundraise to be able to see many more children than its core funding allows.

Helen’s twin 18-month-old grandsons, Torben and Atticus, live in Royal Wootton Bassett with her daughter Gabby. Torben receives help from Wiltshire Portage after suffering brain damage at a young age.

Helen said: “The Wiltshire Portage worker Jillian Sawyer is doing such an amazing job with him. She is teaching him through play. I am absolutely amazed at how well he is doing. He is such a happy little boy.”

She is hoping to raise enough money to enable the charity to see another two children. The charity has recently taken over the Salisbury Portage service, enabling it to cover all of Wiltshire, excluding Swindon.

Suzanne Wickham, Chair of Trustees at Wiltshire Portage, said: “We are extremely grateful to Helen for fundraising for us. She is an inspirational lady, a wonderful support for her family and her very special grandson Torben.”

This is second long walk that Helen, 54, has done after the first walk in the Trough of Bowland in Lancaster in March was called off because of atrocious bad weather.

“We were walking up and down fells and the weather just got so awful that the organisers cancelled it after we had walked 36 miles. It seemed like a good idea at the time but the weather overtook everything.

“People who were supporting me were amazing and I didn’t want to let everyone down so I looked for another walk and found the Race for the Stones.

“I am confident that I can do it although I think my feet will be shot by the end. I am looking forward to seeing the sunset and the sun rise.”

If you wish to help Helen raise funds for Wiltshire Portage, her just giving page is