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I can’t wait to sleep under the stars in the Sahara

Tina from Crawley is one of 57 intrepid trekkers getting ready to trek the Sahara, the largest, hottest desert in the world, to raise money for our hospice. Here she shares why she’s taking on this once in a lifetime adventure.

“When I first saw the Sahara Trek advertised I knew I wanted to do it. I work as a receptionist at the hospice and I know we wouldn’t be here without fundraising, so I thought this could be a personal challenge as well as a fantastic chance to support the hospice.

I already do walking holidays with my husband, and I’ve taken part in the hospice’s Midnight Walk and Sussex Landmarks Hike, but I’ve never done anything overseas or tackled terrain like the Sahara so this will be completely new for me! It’s going to be a fantastic experience though, and I’m super excited, but I know I’ll feel nervous when I’m saying goodbye to my husband at the airport.

I’m most looking forward to sleeping under the stars. When I came to an information evening about the trek there was a presentation from Jude who’s already done the trip. She said that the air is so clear there, you can see shooting stars – I can’t wait for that!

It will be nice to meet new people too. Some people are walking in memory of relatives the hospice has cared for, and for some of them, this is the first trip they’ve done without their loved one so it’s a big step. It’s lovely that I can help support people with that, and that they can support me through the challenge too. There’s even a group of us going to Marrakesh after we finish the trek to experience the culture.

When I signed up to do this, I joined the gym, and have been doing Pilates, circuit and Aqua fit classes. I now spend more time in the gym than at home so I’m in the best possible physical shape to take this on. I’ve asked for some of my kit items as gifts too and my son brought me a battery pack and head torch for my birthday. Knowing those items are from him means they mean much more, and when I’m out in the Sahara wearing and using them, I’ll think of him.

I’ve had a lot of support from people and they’ve been really generous with their donations. I’ve even had visiting relatives at the hospice sponsor me when they’ve found out I’m going to the Sahara – I’ve been really touched by everyone’s support.”

The money Tina and her fellow Sahara trekkers raise will help support local terminally ill people in their community and help towards the building of our larger hospice at Pease Pottage. Thanks to their amazing efforts, we’ll be closer to helping everyone locally who needs our expert care and support.

To support Tina in her challenge and make a donation please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tina-knebel2

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