In memory of Linda Colman


Linda Colman 1975 – 2018

Rye resident Sonja Colman, Linda’s older sister, explains why she and Lisa are setting off to walk the Camino Way to raise funds for the RNLI.

“In September 2018, just a couple of weeks after her forty-third birthday, Linda was suddenly taken ill on a diving holiday in Malta. Despite every effort, she did not recover. Linda was a passionate and experienced diver, with over fifteen years’ experience, who passed away due to an undiagnosed heart condition.

“Throughout her years of diving Linda was a huge supporter of the RNLI and the work they do to save lives around the coastline and waterways of Great Britain. Lisa is a kayaker and I am a regular sea-swimmer on the south coast, so it felt fitting to raise money in her name for them.

“Lisa, Linda’s wife, and I are taking on a challenge in her name, to celebrate her life and memory five years on. We are taking on the Portuguese pilgrims’ trail of the Camino Way – starting at Porto and finishing at Santiago de Compostela. We will be walking an average of around 18.5km (11.5m) per day, every day for fourteen days.

“It feels like both only yesterday and an eternity since we lost Linda and for all of us it is so important that she is remembered every day. Linda completed many challenges and she would have loved to have done this one: she’ll be with us every step of the way and we know she will be cheering us on.”

Why did you choose to do the walk in September?
In September this year it will be the fifth anniversary of her tragic accident and September was also her birthday month. Part of Lisa’s grieving process was, every September, to go on a big walk somewhere as the two of them had loved trekking. We are setting off at the beginning of the month and taking two weeks to cover the distance.

Sonja and Lisa

Have you done other charity fundraising activities?
Most years I do something to raise funds for a charity close to my heart. I have been doing this for over a decade now. So this year Lisa and I decided to bring these two things together, my fundraising and her long walk in Lisa’s memory.

Why did you choose the RNLI?
Lisa and our whole family are keen supporters of the RNLI as it helps us all in so many ways, Lisa with her kayaking, me with my sea swimming. It brings us much comfort knowing that they are only a 999 call away and thankfully we have never had to use them.

We grew up in a land-locked part of the country in the Midlands as far away from the sea as you could get but my mother always collected money for the RNLI.

There is a Just Giving page where you can support Sonja and Lisa in their quest to help the charity which Saves Lives at Sea. If you wish to donate please follow this link to the Just Giving page:

Image Credits: Kt bruce , Sonja Coleman .

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  1. Buen Camino Peregrino Sonja – the Camino provides and I’m sure you will find it an enriching and transformative experience. The coastal Portuguese Way is the best!


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