Will you take on a trekking challenge in the Sahara Desert for Prospect Hospice?

By Jamie Hill - 30 December 2021

Charity

If you’re looking for a unique way to challenge yourself, then Prospect Hospice has the ultimate adventure.

  • Garry Wilkinson on a previous Sahara trek

    Garry Wilkinson on a previous Sahara trek

The charity’s Sahara Trek takes place in the Moroccan Sahara where you will experience the vast and diverse landscapes. The trek includes a day walking in the Atlas Mountains while also exploring the vibrant city of Marrakech.

Places are available for the trek, which is from 19-26 March 2023, and the hospice is holding an information evening on Thursday 27 January 2022 for people interested in taking part. This will be held at Cotswold Outdoor, Mannington Retail Park, Telford Way, Swindon, SN5 8WA at 6.30pm.

As well as hearing about the challenge, Garry Wilkinson and Andy Spurgeon, who completed a Sahara Desert trek for Prospect Hospice will be speaking about their experience. Garry, Andy and friend Sam Allen were among 11 people who undertook the trek in 2014.

Garry, of Royal Wootton Bassett, said: “Andy suggested we do it and it was an amazing experience. I have so many great memories and it was a trip of a lifetime. You take yourself away from your everyday life and I enjoyed the solitude and scenery while focusing on completing the trek.

“There was brilliant camaraderie between everyone on the challenge and we were supported so well by our Berber guides. One of the highlights of the trek was every night the Berbers would cook for us and they would play their drums and sing local songs. We were absorbed into their way of life and it was an unforgettable experience.

“Another highlight was sleeping outside and seeing the stars in the sky; the lack of light pollution meant there were so many stars to look at! The sunsets and sunrises were also spectacular.”

Garry, 55, did the trek because he was looking for a personal challenge and wanted to support Prospect Hospice.

He said: “The Sahara Desert was somewhere I had always wanted to go to and at the time I had a colleague who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and received end of life care by Prospect Hospice.

“The work the hospice does in caring for patients and their families is fantastic but it relies on donations to provide its service which is free of charge to anyone who needs it, so by taking part and raising funds I was helping it to care for other patients.”

Garry, Andy and Sam are all members of Royal Wootton Bassett Rugby Club and were supported by the local community in their fundraising. They held quiz nights and race nights at the rugby club and even made a live video call from the Sahara Desert to Wroughton Junior School where one of their sons attended.

If you would like to attend Prospect Hospice’s information evening on 27 January please email fundraisingandevents@prospect-hospice.net or call the hospice’s fundraising team on 01793 816161. You can also find out more information about the Sahara Trek by visiting www.prospect-hospice.net/saharatrek

Sheryl Crouch, head of income at Prospect Hospice, said: “We’re really excited to offer our Sahara Trek and we hope it will appeal to people who are looking to achieve a personal challenge or maybe it’s an adventure that is on your bucket list.

“It’s because of people like Garry and those who take part in challenges like the Sahara Trek that local people receive outstanding care at the end of their lives. This type of fundraising by our community is vital in ensuring we can be there for people who need us across Swindon, Marlborough and north east Wiltshire.”

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