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Sahara challenge team raise £20,000 for local charity

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(l-r) Hannah, Ruth, Nicole and Charlene.

Four friends recently returned from a sponsored trek of the Sahara Desert and have raised £20,000 in sponsorship for local cancer counselling charity We Hear You (WHY). 

The money will pay for more than 450 counselling sessions for a child, young person or adult affected by a life threatening condition.

Hannah Culff, Nicole Poa, Charlene Ridler and Ruth Squires decided to take on the challenge and support WHY following personal experience of the impact of a life-threatening condition. A significant portion of the money was raised on 16th February at ‘The Ball’ a lavish black tie event at Orchardleigh Estate where guests enjoyed a candlelit three-course meal, a raffle and auction, live music from the Hammervilles and dancing till late. Charlene also organised a race night in collaboration with Chapmanslade Village Hall in November, which sold out and raised an impressive £4,000, half of which came to We Hear You.

Following all their hard work, the team were excited and nervous to set off on the trip of a lifetime. However, it almost ended in tragedy when one of the team was taken seriously ill and had to be rushed to hospital in Morocco, where she underwent life-saving surgery. Happily, Ruth is now back with her family in the UK and recovering well. Undeterred by her experience, she’s decided to take on the Three Peaks Challenge in August, climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours.

Hannah says, “The trek certainly didn’t go as planned and at times it was a truly terrifying experience – we managed to complete the challenge, but were obviously extremely worried, so it wasn’t the trip we’d hoped it would be. We’re so glad to have Ruth home and see her looking better. Ruth is determined to take on another challenge once she’s fully recovered, so we’ll be climbing three mountains together later in the year – our sponsors will get two treks for the price of one! A huge thank you to the hospital staff and to Global Adventure Challenges for their support. We’re delighted to have raised such a fantastic amount for a charity that is close to our hearts and which does such great and important work in the community. All four of us would like to say a huge thank you to the many local businesses for their support of The Ball, whether as table sponsors or by donating prizes, products and services to make it such an amazing evening and a huge thank you to everyone who supported and sponsored us – your money goes to a great cause.”

Director of WHY, Melissa Hillier says, “Congratulations to Hannah, Charlene, Ruth and Nicole for a truly amazing fundraising total and overcoming such a difficult experience. Community fundraising activities like these are essential to help us reach the many people in need of our help and we’re so grateful for their support. 

“We’re always looking for people to take on a challenge for WHY, whether a personal challenge such as giving up alcohol or chocolate, to climbing mountains or running marathons. Get in touch to find out more about how we can support you to take on a challenge for WHY at fundraising@wehearyou.org.uk or 01373 488577. To find out more about We Hear You’s free professional counselling service for children, young people and adults affected by cancer or a life threatening condition, visit www.wehearyou.org.uk. 

 

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