Jen Little, Practice Recruitment Specialist at the Cambridge office of Pure Resourcing Solutions (Pure) is about to take on the gruelling challenge of walking for a week across the Sahara desert to raise money for the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity (ARHC) in Cambridgeshire.
Having spent the last six months undergoing some intensive preparation training, Jen is one of eight people who have signed up for the extreme adventure in support of the charity which is the only adult hospice in Cambridgeshire. The other members of Team ARHC include the charity’s CEO Lynn Morgan, staff at the hospice and other local business people including Steve Mitcham, CEO of Cambridge Business Society.
Team ARHC will fly out to Morocco this week, ready to start the epic walk on Thursday 17th March. They will be trekking over 70km in weather conditions which will range from a scorching 40 degrees during the day to just 0 degrees when they are camping out at night.
The idea first came about last August during discussions on how to raise money for the new 24-bed facility at the hospice, which is dedicated to providing specialist palliative care and support to adult patients and their family, friends and carers. The new building is set to be an exemplar in hospice design and will offer patients a more spacious, attractive and therapeutic environment.
The charity is extremely close to Jen’s heart and she has been an ambassador for the hospice for eight years. She said: “It really is an amazing place and supports many people during what can be a very difficult period of their lives. The staff are incredible and very caring and the volunteers who give their time are true inspirations. When the fundraising idea of walking across the desert came up I thought why not! But having committed myself, I realised I needed to do some serious training preparation. I took part in an eight-week fitness boot camp, have since lost a stone in weight and I now feel like I live at the gym.”
The team, which includes a real mix of ages, has also been group training walks together, which has given them time to discuss other important preparations.
Jen said: “I’ve been testing out and considering so many different types of socks to find the ones which best protect against blisters. We’re not allowed to take much with us as our baggage will be carried by camels as we hike across the sand dunes. That makes the decisions on what we do decide to pack even more important.”
All the team at Pure are supporting Jen in her fundraising mission. The recruitment company is already a keen supporter of the hospice, and has raised more than £6k for the charity over the last few years. The directors have given Jen the time off for the challenge and kick started her fundraising with a £250 donation.
Jen added: “All my colleagues are being extremely supportive. They know I’m just as nervous as I am excited. This challenge will definitely take me out of my comfort zone. Although I’ve been to the desert before, I’ve never spent a week walking across it, or camped in it overnight. But I am doing this to raise money for the hospice and to boost the profile of the fantastic work it does. Even if I end up in a bit of discomfort as a result, it will all be worth it.”
To sponsor Jen visit her Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/Jen-Little1/