Challenging the Wild for Duchess of Kent Hospice

Duchess of Kent Challenge the Wild team 2017

Fern Haynes and three nurses from Duchess of Kent Hospice conquered the Challenge the Wild event, raising over £3,000 for Sue Ryder. Fern shares her experience in this blog.

On Friday 6th October myself and three nurses from Duchess of Kent Hospice travelled to the Brecon Beacons to take part in Challenge the Wild! Helen Kane, one of our hospice nurses, signed up for the challenge after seeing posters placed around the hospice and convinced Danielle, Zoe and myself to join her. We must have been absolutely bonkers! 

On the Friday night we had a 5 hour car journey to our remote bunkhouse in the beacons - luckily we found a local pub nearby. After a good night sleep we set off at 8am to meet the Challenge the Wild team and the lovely Millie who was raising funds for Leckhampton Court Hospice. 

Action-packed adventure

Day 1 involved canyoning through the countryside, trekking, cliff jumping into waterfalls and 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 Danielle and I had camped since we were kids, and we were not ready for the chilly and noisy night ahead. 

We woke at 5am on Sunday to the sound of the nearby cockerel who managed to wake absolutely everyone in the sleepy village. Day 2 started with a trek which we had to navigate ourselves, and after getting lost on the journey to the Beacons using SatNav we were slightly concerned... Thankfully Danielle was an excellent navigator and steered us in the right direction. 

It had been very muddy the week before and we ended up sinking in mud up to our knees! Very interesting to get out of when you have Primark trainers 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 rock climb and an impressive abseil. I’m scared of heights and was very intimidated by the abseil, but I definitely conquered my fears on the day. Danielle was also scared of heights and was extremely brave to take on this part of the challenge. 

Raising vital funds

It was great for me to 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 Court who raised over £1,000 before the start of the challenge. 

As a team we raised over £3,000 for Sue Ryder, which is a great achievement. I would definitely recommend Challenge the Wild to my colleagues and supporters of the hospice. A great experience! Who's joining us next year?

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Fern Haynes

Senior Hospice Fundraiser

Fern Haynes