A retired GP from Bridport is among around 20 people from west Dorset who are embarking on an African adventure to help raise money for people with life threating illnesses.

The expedition to Madagascar is one of two challenges being put on by Weldmar Hospicecare to celebrate 30 years of caring for people in Dorset - the other is a trip to Machu Picchu in 2025.

Jo Millar, a retired GP from Bridport, is one of the people taking part in the 12 day trip to the African island.

It will include five days of trekking through the country’s stunning hills and rainforest before returning to the country’s capital Antananarivo to volunteer for a few days.

She said: “A friend of mine, Anna Willmore, had done a previous trip to Madagascar in 2022, and this time last year she said ‘Jo do you fancy going to Madagascar', with a grin on her face, and and she persuaded me it was a good thing to do.

“I have always wanted to go to Africa, we will see lots of lemurs, that will be fun, and then to go back into the capital to help out. It will be an amazing experience.”

As part of the trip, every person is being asked to fundraise for the hospice, and Jo has decided to team up with Bridport Arts Centre ahead of the February half-term.

Jo added: “In order to take part we have to do lots of fundraising, so everyone is organising lots of fundraising through the year.

“I thought it would be fun to show the film Madagascar, and I approached the arts centre, and they chose the half-term as people would be on holiday and all of the proceeds will go to the hospice."

Jo admires the work that is done by the hospice having worked closely with them after setting up her own charity, Living Tree, which supports people in the Bridport area with cancer, following her own battle with the disease.

She added: “I had breast cancer and a year off work, and received treatment from Dorset hospital in Poole.

“Ever since, I have been aware of what impact it has.

“We have an amazing support group for people locally and work closely with Weldmar – that is very much why I wanted to do this trek - I very much wanted to support Weldmar and make people aware of the work they do."

The screening of Madagascar will be at Bridport Arts Centre on Tuesday, February 13 at 2.30pm.

A tombola with plenty of family-friendly prizes will also be held to help raise funds.

Dee Fenton, general manager and programmer at the centre added: “Jo is a well-loved retired GP in the area, an integral member of the Living Tree which is cancer support for Bridport, and a local hero.

Tickets are available online at  www.bridport-arts.com/event/madagascar-3-europe-s-most-wanted-2012-pg/

For more information about the expedition to Madagascar and Weldmar Hospice visit https://www.weldmarhospicecare.org/overseas30/