17 of our intrepid supporters are in training for Trek the Great Wall of China Challenge to celebrate 30 years of Florence Nightingale Hospice.
The nine-day trip will take place from Saturday 2nd to Sunday 10th November 2019 and will take trekkers to little-visited parts of the Wall in days of up to seven hours of walking through stunning landscapes with breathtaking views.
The trek is challenging over undulating, steep and sometimes crumbling terrain. In the original sections the Wall may be crumbling, with earth and stone rubble that shifts underfoot like scree, making it challenging to climb.
Each Walker has committed to raise or pay £3,290 (including a non-refundable £290 registration fee) which covers the costs of the trip and at least £1,500 in funds raised for the Hospice.
Meet our Walkers and find out what they are doing to fundraise for the Hospice….
Local student Em Jenkins, age 18, was inspired to begin fundraising for Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity after the death of her boyfriend’s father Rob Grimwood in May 2018.
“He was cared for in the Florence Nightingale Hospice and later at home by their Nightingale 24/7 Team, and every single staff member and volunteer I encountered while visiting him was absolutely lovely, to both him and everyone around him,” said Em.
What began as a couple of fundraising events snowballed when Em signed up to take part in the Charity’s Great Wall of China Trek. Alongside studying for her A levels and an online Events Management diploma, Em took on the challenge to raise £3,000 to pay for the trip and raise a substantial amount of money for the Hospice. Over the past six months Em has organised a huge array of events and activities from a musical showcase and Christmas craft fair to a sponsored leg wax and children’s writing competition.
“I suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, so that has provided its own challenges throughout the fundraising, but I have been pretty determined not to let it stop me - part of the appeal of doing the Trek itself was giving myself a big challenge to work towards. My teachers at school have been really supportive of my fundraising, and three of them have even donated to my JustGiving page!” says Em.
In October 2016 Sarah's husband, Rob, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. On 5th May 2018 he passed away. He was at home, as he'd wanted, with his family around him - and this was thanks to the support and care provided by the Florence Nightingale Hospice. They were there for the family throughout Rob's illness, providing all the things we needed as we discovered we needed them.
"Walking the Great Wall of China has been on my bucket list for a long time, and when I discovered that the Hospice were organising a fundraising trek it was something that I felt I just had to do. So, in November 2019 I'm going to be walking for 7-8 hours/day along little-visited parts of the Wall through stunning landscapes with breathtaking views!"
Sarah will be paying all the costs of the trip herself but is hoping to beat the £1500 fundraising commitment for the Hospice.
You can support Sarah at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sarah-grimwood2
Earlier this year Olivia's nan sadly passed away.
"Florence Nightingale Hospice looked after my nan in her final days and did such an amazing job making sure she was ok and supporting the family 24/7.
To remember my nan and give back to this amazing charity we have decided to take on the challenge to trek The Great Wall of China and raise funds to continue their great work. This is going to be no easy task." says Olivia.
Olivia and Brendan have already organised a huge number of fundraising events including a sponsored leg wax, quiz night & raffle and a curry night.
You can support them at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/brendan-olivia
In June 2016, Judy's husband John passed away after fighting prostate cancer for several years. During the last six months, of John's life, he was cared for by Florence Nightingale Hospice at home and for the last few days in the Hospice.
Every member of staff cared for him with compassion and also took time to make him feel comfortable whilst taking an interest in him and the whole family.
As a way of saying thank you, I will be trekking along 50km of the Great Wall of China for 9 days raising money for Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity. In doing this, I hope to ensure that the much needed care and support continues for other families."
John and I loved to travel and this was on our bucket list, so unfortunately I'll be trekking on without him.
You can support Judy at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/judy-hardcastle1
Joanna and Serena run Ruby Lane hairdressing salon on Bedgrove in Aylesbury. The salon has a long history of supporting charities and this year they decided to support Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity in its 30th year.
Having previously run marathons, they were keen to take on the new challenge of the Great Wall of China Trek.
They have a number of events planned including an Psychic Evening and sponsored haircuts.You can support Joanna and Serena at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JoannaRichardson5 or https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SerenaJebb.
Lee Duffy is the General Manager at Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury who are longstanding partners of the Charity.
"I wanted to give myself a real challenge, an adventure, rip myself as far as possible from my comfort zone and raise money for this fantastic charity. I will be doing a number of different events over the next twelve months in order to hit my target."You can support Lee at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lee-duffy4
Kathryn is spending six months volunteering for the Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity this year.
I feel very privileged to work for an employer that promotes these opportunities. In return I would really like to achieve as much as possible supporting this wonderful charity."
You can support Kathryn at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KathrynClark
Simon and his wife Vanessa have never attempted anything like the China Trek before.
"Losing my wonderful Mum was the lowest moment in my life, but I can only image how much worse it would have been, without the incredible support from the Hospice nurses." says Simon
"We aim to raise a minimum of £3000 to help the charity continue their incredible work."
You can support Simon & Vanessa at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/simonandvanessachinatrek
Kate, Tracey, Catherine and Lynda all work or have worked at the Hospice together over the years.
"Palliative care is an area we all feel privileged to work in. Of course some days are incredibly difficult, but it is always balanced out by the laughter, love, care and support shown by everybody who comes through the hospice doors.
The hospice charity raises money every year, without these invaluable funds we wouldn’t be able to run all of the services we are able to offer to our patients. We have seen first-hand why this funding is so important which is why we are all testing our boundaries, pushing the limits and completing the Great Wall of China trek.You can support the nurses' team at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/fnhnurseschinatrek