Valerie and Ann are taking on our incredible overseas trek in Bhutan to raise funds for our Manorlands Hospice. As the Practice Educator at the hospice, Valerie knows the importance of the incredible work we do - and her wife Ann is along for the ride! This is their story in Valerie's own words.
"'Sue Ryder are doing a trek in Bhutan!' I said to Ann. 'Shall we do it?'
"'Oh...' she said. 'What, me as well?'
"So I left it but brought it into the conversation periodically. Over the course of a few weeks she moved from 'I'll support you to do it' to 'Okay, let's do it', and we haven't looked back since."
"I took on a few short treks when I lived in New Zealand, but nothing like this.
"What is it about Bhutan that made me want to go? Well, for one thing, they measure their GDP in happiness. They also soak up more than six times their carbon footprint through re-foresting and sustainability is high on the King's agenda.
"Then, when speaking to others about trekking at altitude, they talked about it being the most amazing experience and I knew I had to give it a go."
Incorporating more exercise
"Having looked after my mother-in-law at the end of her life, including daily visits once she went into care, we'd become quite unfit. That would have to change. We were also apprehensive about the fundraising, but our local team at Manorlands Hospice are very supportive and full of ways to make my ideas possible.
"So now socialising revolves around exercise. I also do some every chance I get; for instance, when I had a train journey with two changes last week, I used the time to get some exercise going up and over and along and back across the platforms!"
Enthusiasm and support aplenty
"We're amazed at the amount of kindness we're encountering, including fantastic donations for our upcoming market stall, the guy at the camping store in Calderdale giving us 15% off as we're trekking for charity, and all the wisdom we've received from the guy at the outdoor shop in Grasmere, who must be the world's most knowledgeable person on walking poles and shared all his advice to help us prepare.
"We'd love it if you could help support us through our JustGiving page - someone even said the colours I was wearing in this picture would fit right in in Bhutan!"
Sponsor Valerie and Ann on JustGiving
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