Trek across the Sahara for a good cause in Harrogate

Opportunity to join a trek for Saint Michael's Hospice (s)
Opportunity to join a trek for Saint Michael's Hospice (s)

Saint Michael’s Hospice is challenging people across the district to take part in something extraordinary to celebrate 2015, while raising funds to help families in the community living with terminal illness or bereavement.

The charity is recruiting fundraising stars for a host of exciting opportunities, including an exhilarating supported trek across the Sahara and the white-knuckle skydiving experience of a lifetime.

The Sahara trek departs in October, but would-be participants are urged to sign up now, to allow plenty of time for training and sponsorship.

The ten-trek offers a chance to experience life in the Moroccan Sahara, looked after by local Berber guides and sleeping under the stars.

A special part of this desert odyssey, trekkers will then spend two days taking part in a community project in Marrakech.

You don’t have to be an experienced hiker, or super-fit, to sign up as the trek is aimed at people with a moderate level of fitness.

Rachel Donaldson, a 45-year-old care worker from Wath, near Ripon, is one of the team who took part in the last Saint Michael’s challenge, tackling Mount Everest’s Base Camp.

She was so inspired by her experiences that she has signed up for this year’s Sahara trek and has encouraged her daughter Haylie, 18, to do it with her.

Rachel said: “Raising the Nepal sponsorship was easier than I imagined. I held coffee mornings, clay pigeon shoots and used my Justgiving page to help people donate. The training was the hardest part as I was so unfit! I’d never done anything like this before.

“The team I went with were all there for the same reason - to raise money for Saint Michael’s - and this helped us to bond. The support I received from them all was amazing.

“There were so many high points and some challenges but together we got through them all, even the heavy snow that stopped us reaching Base Camp. It was totally out of my comfort zone but it was an incredible trip. I enjoyed that experience so much that I signed up to trek the Sahara. This time my daughter, Haylie, is coming too. Together we’re even more determined to raise lots of money for Saint Michael’s, holding many different events, from coffee mornings to a recent ball which raised over £1,000.”