Fundraisers raise £66K trekking across the Sahara Desert

Fundraisers raise £66K trekking across the Sahara Desert

A group of 26 people from Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire have raised over £66,458 for the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance by trekking across the Sahara Desert.

The team took on the unforgiving 5-day trek, where they walked 100km across one of the world’s most inhabitable places in order to raise vital funds for the life-saving service.

As part of the Sahara Trek Challenge, the group climbed Moroccan sand dunes and slept under the stars as they faced blistering temperatures of up to 47 degrees Celsius. The trek proved to be a life-changing and extremely challenging experience for the trekkers, where they endured tough conditions with the extreme heat, basic living and no home comforts for the duration of the trip.

The group included people from all walks of life, including married couples, groups of friends, people in their 20s and people in their late 50s and 60, and members of staff from the Charity’s head office and clinical crew.

One of those who took part was Richard Dixon-Warren, a retired British Army officer from Haconby in Lincolnshire. He said: “The trek was as challenging as I expected. I will always remember the sweat, sand, scenery and selflessness.

“This, and the amazing sum of money raised for the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, has made it a worthwhile excursion!”

During the trek, the team climbed to the top of Erg Zaher – the tallest sand dune in the area. Once at the top of the 1,900ft-high dune, which is said to be the furthest part of the desert from civilisation, participants watched the sun set and reflected on why they had taken on the epic challenge.

24-year-old Kate Ireland from Sleaford also took part in the challenge, with hopes of raising money for the Charity. She said: “Entering the desert as a group of strangers and exiting it as one big family speaks a thousand words in itself.

“It was the most incredible experience, the tranquillity of the rolling sand dunes, the sunrises and sunsets and sleeping out under the stars every night is was just breath taking.Trekking over the dunes in severe heat, through sand storms and climbing up the tallest sand dune in the region made it a great challenge.

“We took on this challenge as a team, with the intention to raise as much money for the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance as possible, putting ourselves through the sweltering heat of the Sahara and seeing the total amount raised by the kind donations is unbelievable, it made every step in the sand worth it.”

Kay Chambers, Shop Manager at the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance Charity shop in Wragby, also took part onthe incredible challenge. She said: “The Sahara Trek was the hardest but most rewarding experience of my life. I’ve seen beautiful scenery, met fantastic people and made memories which will stay with me forever.

“I am so proud to be part of this fantastic team and raising so much for this amazing Charity. If you’re thinking about doing something like this, do it! If I can do it, so can you. It might just change your life, just like it has changed mine.”

On average, the crew at Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance are called out to 3 potentially lifesaving missions every single day. Whilst all 26 trekkers have their own reasons for pushing themselves to the limit during this gruelling challenge, the funds the group has raised will enable the Charity to save many more lives across the two counties.

Karen Jobling, Chief Executive Officer at Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, said: “I am always amazed by the fabulous fundraisers in our local community who undertake a huge range of events and challenges for the benefit of the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, but a 100km trek across the Sahara is undoubtedly a challenge of extremes!

“We are so proud of each and every member of the Trek team for taking on the Sahara and for raising a staggering £66,458 for their local air ambulance. What an adventure! My sincere thanks and congratulations to all the team.”

COULD YOU TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE?

Next year, the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance will be hosting a Morocco 3 Peaks Challenge, where participants can experience their own life-changing experience whilst supporting an incredible Charity.

This awe-inspiring trek across the Moroccan 3 Peaks, which takes 5 days to complete, will see participants reach breath-taking heights of 4,167m, giving the most spectacular views stretching as far as the Sahara and out to the Atlantic Oceans.

The route will allow you to experience the beautiful region of the Atlas Mountains, with the first part of your trek taking you through classic Berber villages. You’ll then ascent the first summit, Mount Mgoum, moving on to Ouanoukrim and finally take on the highest peak, Mount Toubkal.

If you’re interested in joining this challenge of a lifetime or would like to find out more, visit www.ambucopter.org.uk or call 01522 548469.