A group of twelve adventurers ranging from 21 to 86 of age have completed a challenging trek over 80k of beautiful Nepalese terrain to raise funds for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices. The team, spent many weeks training for this event and experienced both physical and mental challenges along the way supporting the local patient centred charity.
At 86, Tom Duncan from Weybridge was the eldest member of the team. He is also the eldest trekker the local Sherpas have taken on this challenge in the 25 years their company has been running.
“It was very humbling to witness the total respect the Sherpas had for Tom,” commented fellow trekker Zoe Bartlem from Woking. “I consider myself to be of a good general fitness level and I trained hard for this event but I really struggled some days, ‘Young Tom’ never complained he just kept going and going.”
After travelling for many hours on planes and buses to get to their destination of Nayapul where the trek began, the group then spent five days trekking across Annapurna region. They were supported by a team of Nepali guides and porters that went above and beyond, supporting the team with endless kindness and patience to make sure they all completed the challenge.
Ruth Egan from Woking, who has supported the hospice for many years, commented, “The trek has been the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life, far harder than I ever could have imagined but equally, more rewarding than I’d ever dreamed witnessing some of the most glorious scenery in the world.”
Day three was a 4.30am start so they could reach the highest point of their journey Poon Hill at 3210m and watch the sunrise over the Annapurna Mountain range. During the five days the team’s hard work was rewarded with spectacular views, sparkling waterfalls and experiencing Nepalese culture.
After the arduous trek the team returned to the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara where they had a short rest and some time to celebrate their achievement. It was then back on the road for a gruelling ten hour coach journey back to Kathmandu to complete the next phase of their challenge at the Nepal Hospice project.
The team got stuck into cleaning, painting, washing and gardening, relishing the opportunity to give something back to the Nepalese people. “There was so much to do and so much more that we wished we could provide.” commented Woking resident Amanda Benstead.
One member of the team, Ruth Egan, designed and painted a beautiful mural for the wall in the hospice reception, an amazing mulberry tree design incorporating the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices’ dove logo together with the hospice Nepal flame logo. The team all hope this will serve as a lasting reminder of their visit and will brighten the waiting area for many years to come.
Visiting Hospice Nepal highlighted for them all just how different the level of excellent facilities and the support network provided through the charity’s brand new state-of-the-art hospice in Goldsworth Park is for residents in North West Surrey. “They have almost nothing, yet are still able to give end of life care to their patients and support their loved ones. Their motto “care, comfort, console” is very poignant.” commented Ruth.
Nicole Sallis from Byfleet, who is the Events Fundraising Executive at Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, commented “The group’s fundraising efforts have been truly brilliant and I really couldn’t have asked to have spent time and been a representative for the hospice with a better troop of people. I have made some friends for life.”
The fundraising total to date is over £15,000 which will go towards the hospice’s annual running costs of 8 million.