Jen Little, Practice Recruitment Specialist at the Cambridge office of Pure Resourcing Solutions (Pure), has completed a 75km trek across the Sahara desert to raise money for the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity (ARHC) and has described it as ‘the most amazing and phenomenal experience’.
Having spent six months undergoing some intensive preparation training, Jen was one of eight members of Team ARHC who took on the epic walk through temperature conditions ranging from a scorching 40 degrees in the day to just 0 degrees when camping at night. The other team members included the charity’s CEO Lynn Morgan, staff at the hospice and other local business people including Steve Mitcham, CEO of Cambridge Business Society.
The group hiked across the desert for several days from 17th March with just their guide, and the camels who were carrying the minimal luggage they were allowed, for company. Having made it safely back in one piece, aching legs and the odd blister aside, Jen has already said she would return to the Sahara in a heartbeat.
“However much I thought I knew what it would be like, it was even more beautiful than I could have imagined”, said Jen. “It was an amazing and phenomenal experience as well as being hard work and scary all at the same time. Essentially we just walked, ate and slept but we really bonded as a team throughout and got to see some spectacular sights. We were up before 6am each morning and watched the most beautiful sunrises and the sunsets were equally as stunning. We were in bed by about 8.30pm most nights but we did also have time to marvel at the stars. Because there is no light pollution in the desert you really can see every star in the night sky.”
The team had to battle through a sand storm towards the end of the trip which meant they actually completed the journey slightly quicker than they had anticipated.
Jen, who has been an ambassador for ARHC for the last eight years, added: “When the sand storm came in it really reduced our visibility and dropped the temperature. We were advised to either all bunker down in one tent until it passed or to keep on walking through it to escape the storm quicker. We choose to keep on walking which meant we reached our finish goal earlier than we expected. But it was like being completely sand blasted and the only bits of ourselves we really dared have exposed were our hands. When we reached the end we all felt an overwhelming sense of achievement. We’d taken on a challenge and really risen to it and conquered it as a team.”
The sponsorship money for Team ARHC is still coming in, but with all eight team members having already averaged around £2,000 each, the overall amount looks set to be a significant amount for the charity. ARHC is the only adult hospice in Cambridgeshire and provides specialist palliative care and support to adult patients and their family, friends and carers. The money raised will be used to support the creation of a new 24-bed facility at the hospice which is set to be an exemplar in hospice design and will offer patients a more spacious, attractive and therapeutic environment.
To sponsor Jen visit her Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/Jen-Little1/