As the nights started to draw in and the colder weather arrived, twelve intrepid Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice supporters took drastic steps to prolong the summer – travelling to India on an amazing adventure. The group spent a week trekking over 50km in the Himalayan foothills, before finishing off their trip by volunteering at CanKids, a charity in Dehli where children facing cancer go for support.

Despite a number of the trekkers being hit by illness just hours into the first day of walking, the group soldiered on and successfully completed the challenge. Together they raised a phenomenal amount for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice , over £30,000. That’s enough to provide medical care for an individual in our in-patient unit for six weeks, to pay for more than 100 patients to spend a day in our Day Hospice, or to provide more than 20 people with Hospice at Home end of life care.

But as well as this incredible support for the hospice, the trekkers got a lot of out of the challenge personally too. With time to reflect here’s what some of the trekkers thought of their experience:

Bonnie Bowron

“India was a life changing experience for me:  from the polluted chaotic streets of Dehli to the beautiful, breath-taking serenity of the Himalayas – both as magical as the other. Being able to see the smiles on the face of the children at CanKids was priceless. I have a special place in my heart for India and would do it all again in a heartbeat!!!”

David Nash

“It’s hard to put the experience in the Himalayas into words. I just wish I had done something like this years ago. It was a fantastic experience; from camping on the top of a mountain to running through Dehli to catch a train. It was non-stop and I loved every minute. I loved helping out at CanKids; it gave me a great sense of satisfaction. The way people live and make a living with so little has made me appreciate what I have back at home. “

Usha Kiran

“The trek was physically challenging and the project at Cankids was emotionally challenging. We had the pleasure to meet some wonderfully brave children and their families, plus all the dedicated staff. The place offered hope, healing and dignity; so much so, that I am planning to return there one day.”

Sarah Barber, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice Fundraising Projects Officer

“I have been in love with India since I first visited there in 2006.  The trip was fantastic as it combined the tranquillity and beauty of the Himalayas with the hustle, bustle and excitement of Delhi. It was great to be part of a bunch of such lovely people; and it’s a special experience that will always bond us.  It’s fantastic knowing that we’ve  made a contribution in India but also have raised a fantastic sum of money which will ensure more families in Birmingham and Sandwell will receive much needed support in dealing with terminal illness.”

Every year supporters do many amazing things to support the hospice. Our annual trek is one of the more extreme activities, but every event is vital in raising funds to help us continue our work with local families.

To find out more about our fundraising events visit www.birminghamhsopice.org.uk and click ‘Get Involved’.

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