The team at our Duchess of Kent Hospice were inspired by their own marketing to take on Challenge the Wild - a two-day outdoor event to test endurance and face fears in the Brecon Beacons - and raised £1,300 in the process. Here, Community Fundraising Manager Fern shares the team’s experience of the wilderness.
"On Friday 6th October, myself and three nurses from the hospice travelled to the Brecon Beacons to take part in Challenge the Wild.
"Helen Kane (one of our nurses) originally signed up for the challenge after seeing posters placed around the hospice. Helen didn’t want to take on this challenge alone, so she managed to get Danielle, Zoe and myself to join her to make up a team.
We must have been absolutely bonkers!
Going into the wild
"On the Friday night, we had a five-hour car journey to our remote bunkhouse in the Beacons. Luckily for us, we found a local pub nearby to have our last taste of civilisation with food cooked for us and a warm bed.
"After a good night of sleep, we set off at 8am to meet the Challenge the Wild team and another supporter, the lovely Millie, who was raising funds for another Sue Ryder hospice, Leckhampton Court.
"The first day of the challenge involved canyoning through the countryside, trekking, cliff jumping into waterfalls and if that wasn’t enough to zap our energy, it all finished with a crazily high zip-wire.
"At the end of an exhilarating and exhausting day, it was back to the campfire to cook noodles for dinner. This was the first time that myself and Danielle had camped since we were kids and we were really not ready for the chilly and noisy night ahead!
Mud, map reading and madcap adventures
"We woke at 5am on Sunday to the sound of the nearby cockerel, who managed to wake absolutely everyone in the sleepy village, and we were soon ready to go as the second day started with a self-navigated trek.
"We didn’t have much faith in ourselves when it came to navigating after getting lost on the journey to the Beacons when we had the help of a satnav..! However, Danielle proved to be an excellent navigator and steered us in the correct direction.
"It had been very muddy the week before and we ended up sinking in mud up to our knees, which was very interesting to get out of when you have Primark trainers on rather than sturdy walking boots (what was I thinking?)! Poor Helen nearly got stuck in the mud up to her waist, but we did have a giggle about it.
"The end of the challenge was a rockclimb and an impressive abseil back down. I was very intimidated by the abseil and I definitely conquered my fears on the day. Danielle was also scared of heights and she was extremely brave to take on this part of the challenge.
Supporting the work of Sue Ryder
Taking part in the challenge gave me the opportunity to really get to know the nurses on a personal level and talk to them about the care they provide to our patients. It was also lovely to meet Millie from Leckhampton who had raised over £1,000 before the start of the challenge. As a full team, we managed to raise over £3,000, which is a great achievement.
I would definitely recommend Challenge the Wild to my colleagues and any other Sue Ryder supporters. It was a really brilliant experience and I’m really proud of our team for challenging themselves to do something different.
So, who’s taking part next year?!
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