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Team Sue Ryder conquer the Great Wall of China!

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Published: 17 Dec 2012      

One of the great monuments of the world, the Great Wall of China stretches for more than 8,000km across northern China and last week 30 supporters trekked in the footsteps of some of China’s greatest Dynasties, raising an amazing £100K for Sue Ryder which will make a real difference to the lives of people living with incurable illness.

Vicki Collins, Local Running and Challenge Fundraiser at Sue Ryder, commented:
The Great Wall of China 10 day trek was Sue Ryder's second International bespoke trek, working alongside the outdoor adventure company 'Maximum Adventure'. This trek followed the successful 2011 Sue Ryder Sahara Trek challenge which raised £25K for Sue Ryder locally.

Among the 30 supporters from across the UK, 7 were raising money specifically for the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire area.

Susanne Clifton from (48), Burghfield Bridge, Reading was among them.

“For some years I volunteered one day a week at the hospice and saw for myself what a wonderful place it is for the patients and their families. Work commitments took over and I had to return to full time employment, so instead of giving my time to the Charity I decided to raise money for it.

Last year I trekked the Sahara Desert for Sue Ryder and raised over £3,000 and decided to take up the challenge again this year by trekking the Great Wall of China.

The trip had many high-lights for me but I think the top spot has to go to the incredible scenery we saw – the wall meandering through the mountains, as far as the eyes could see. I am not keen on heights but I managed to conqueror my fears with the help and support of the group – ages varied from 19 to 65, but we all bonded and were like a happy family from beginning to end.

I will never forget this trip – the memories will stay with me forever.”

Local Sue Ryder fundraiser, Vicki Collins, also took part and raised £3000 for Sue Ryder.
“Over the course of 6 days, we conquered 6 sections a day, each section varying in height and length, some sections of the wall had been refurbished and we visited these as an easy introduction walk along the wall, but as the week progressed, we were soon visiting sections which were a true challenge, encountering steep climbs up to the crumbling watch towers.

What I enjoy most about these challenges is the friendships which we make and the laughter we have. Last week, we began the trek as individuals of varying age and fitness from all across the UK, but we left as one strong united Sue Ryder team, all helping each other to encounter the many obstacles we faced daily.

The most memorable part for me was walking up a steep 500 steps to one of the many watchtowers which lined the mountain tops, sounds an easy task, but with uneven crumbly steps, steps not quite deep enough to walk face on and with no hand rails, it was easy to become fearful of falling backwards down all 500 steps! It was memorable because it was a section which challenged even the most hardy and fit people within our group. Those among us who thought we were fine with heights, soon realised that actually, we weren't! We all pulled together and helped each other up, keeping conversations flowing so fearful thoughts didn't cross our minds (mine certaintly included)!. Once we had all reached the watch tower and plucked up the courage to look over the edge! everything else seemed easy! We felt that we could accomplish anything after that!”

To challenge yourself in 2013, join Sue Ryder in November and cycle 420km across the Death Valley, starting and finishing in the bright lights of Las Vegas! To take part or to receive a brochure, contact your local fundraising team on 01491 641070 / bbox.fundraising@sueryder.org