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Page last updated at 13:17 GMT, Friday, 18 June 2010 14:17 UK
Countdown to Moonlight Colourthon in Southend-on-Sea
By Oliver Rogers
BBC Essex

Rachel Riley
Rachel is looking forward to the half marathon

TV presenter, Rachel Riley, is walking in Southend's forthcoming Moonlight Colourthon to help a local charity.

The local girl is raising funds for the charity, Peaceful Place, who provide care for people in Essex with the onset of dementia.

The 13.5 mile walk through the south Essex town takes place on 3, July.

Rachel told BBC Essex: "The charity is trying to raise money for a residential care centre in Hockley and I have got around 60 people walking for them."

She knows the area well having grown up in the town and studied at Southend High School for Girls.

"You can do it [the walk] for any charity and it is a brilliant opportunity to meet other people who want to raise money," she said.

"It is not a race, it is a walk - I have known a few people stop off for a beer on the way! It is not a serious race it is a way of doing a good thing," added Rachel.

Your brain is a muscle and you need to train it to think in the right way
Rachel Riley

Peaceful Place already have a day centre, but through additional fund raising the charity is hoping to expand its facilities in the county.

Since January 2009 , Rachel has been doing the letters and numbers on Channel 4's Countdown.

The programme was Rachel's first television presenting job, after starting a career in the City.

"I had never done anything like this, and before it I had been working as an analyst, quite a numerical role," she said.

Rachel is passionate about teaching mathematics and science and sees part of her role as a way to inspire young people about the subjects.

"It doesn't matter if you are a boy or girl, it just takes a bit of work. There is no such thing as someone who can do maths or can't do maths, we do need to change attitudes," she said.

Rachel revises at home and trains her brain most nights.

"Your brain is a muscle and you need to train it to think in the right way. Hopefully mine is in pretty good shape at the moment," she said.

Her degree at Oxford University included quantum theory making her ideally suited to decide if a problem is simple or not.

"One of our tutors did once say: 'This isn't rocket science'. But we did think, well it is close!"

For more information visit Rachel's JustGiving page .

BBC Essex will have special programming for the night of the Moonlight Colourthon on Saturday, 3 July.

John Leech will be hosting a specially extended 'Soul Kitchen' up till the start of the Moonlight Colourthon between 4pm and 8pm.

Then Graham Bannerman will go on till midnight.

Charity walk officially launched
05 Mar 10 |  Things to do


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