Unforgettable trek raises record amount for hospice

'We made it!' The intrepid trekkers just after sunrise at the top of Poon Hill.
'We made it!' The intrepid trekkers just after sunrise at the top of Poon Hill.

A life changing charity trek to Nepal has raised a record £80,000 for the Hospice of St Francis.

During their trip the team of 17 trekkers also helped with refurbishment works at a cancer hospital near Kathmandu, which was ravaged by April’s earthquake.

Among the team were a primary school teacher from Boxmoor, a locksmith from Markyate, a palliative care consultant from Potten End and couple from Hemel Hempstead who run a building firm.

They all returned last week after a journey they described as an ‘unforgettable, unique and humbling experience’.

Trekker Hilary Gardener, who owns Elsie’s Vintage Ice Cream Van and lives in Berkhamsted, said: “The country, the people, the sights, sounds and smells, the team camaraderie, the challenges and the emotions of our achievements will stay with me forever. It was overwhelming, humbling and life-changing.”

The 12-day trek, led by Different Travel, included a five day hike through the lush alpine forest of the Ghorepani Poon Hill trail, surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna region, with panoramic views across the Himalayas.

Afterwards, the group spent two days volunteering at a cancer hospital where they turned a patch of land that had been used a rubbish tip into a garden.

Hospice community fundraisier Sarah Ajder, who was among the team, said: “I’d like to thank the whole team for working so tirelessly during the last year to raise sponsorship for their challenge. I never dreamt we would raise this much money.”

>Intrepid adventurers are invited to join the next hospice trek to Peru from September 24 to October 4, 2016. It will follow the ancient Inca Salkantay Trail, taking in snowcapped mountains, lush jungles and ancient sites. Registration is £390 and minimum sponsorship is £3,990. Visit www.stfrancis.org.uk/support-us/events/detail/trek-machu-picchu-community-project