HAMPSHIRE residents have been invited to lace up their trainers and get walking this summer in aid of people living with a chronic, life-limiting autoimmune condition.

The charity Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK (SRUK) is asking people to get involved with its nationwide walking challenge and raise money for vital research and support for people with scleroderma.

Scleroderma occurs when the body’s immune system becomes overactive and begins to attack healthy tissue, causing hardening of the skin and, in some cases, other organs.

It is most common in adults over the age of 40 and can also affect teenagers and young adults, although this is much rarer.

Walkers have the option to make their walk physical or virtual and as long or as short as they need.

The fundraiser - called The SRUK Walk - aims to raise at least £19,000 to represent the 19,000 people in the UK living with scleroderma.

The money will be used to support people affected by the condition and fund research to improve diagnosis, treatment and quality of life.

Sue Farrington, SRUK Chief Executive, said: “The past year has taken a toll on many people with scleroderma who have been forced to shield and, in some cases, have their treatments put on hold. We want to make sure we can be there for everyone who needs us, which is why we’re asking people to put their best foot forward - a simple act that will help make a world of difference.

"We know how supportive people in Hampshire can be, so we’re hoping as many people as possible get involved.”

To get involved with The SRUK Walk or to find out more, visit www.sruk.co.uk/walk