After fundraising and training through lockdown, and then trekking across the hot and dry Jordan Desert to Petra, 35 local people have shown they can really rise to a challenge. They’ve beaten all expectations and raised more than £101,000 for Salisbury District Hospital’s Charity, the Stars Appeal.
The trekkers raised most of their fundraising before they set off on April 23rd. But as Jo Maslen, Stars Appeal volunteer trek coordinator explained, “We’ve never had so many donations after a trek before. We know a lot of family and friends wanted to show their admiration for the trekkers’ achievements after they heard how the trekkers supported each other to overcome the tough conditions.” That included trekking 106km over six days, and climbing three mountains, in temperatures of up to 40°C.
The Grand Total was announced at a Celebration in Salisbury Cathedral Cloisters this week. Trekkers Colin Ford and Lynne Rose, who raised over £6,000 each, presented the giant cheque to Lord Pembroke, President of the Stars Appeal. He was accompanied by Stars Appeal ambassadors, representing some of the many areas of Salisbury Hospital which the Stars Appeal helps: therapist Sandra Treslove, Speech and Language team; Dr Greg Pearson, Consultant representing the Maternity Department; Mr Simon Dennis, ENT Consultant & Clinical Lead; and Sister Ingrid Webb, Neonatal Unit.
In his Vote of Thanks, Lord Pembroke praised the trekkers’ astounding achievement, not only in tackling the trek but also for raising much-needed funds at such a challenging time for NHS staff and services.
Dave Cates, Head of Fundraising for the Stars Appeal, along with Dr Pearson and Mr Dennis, explained how funds raised for the charity make a difference in the Hospital, from providing the latest treatment and diagnostic equipment to improving and creating new buildings and offering support to patients, families and staff.
The funds raised through the Petra Trek add to the funds raised from previous Stars Appeal treks to the Grand Canyon, Machu Picchu in Peru, and the Great Wall of China, to give a four-trek total of more than £400,000.
The charity is now planning its next fundraising adventure to support patients and staff in Salisbury Hospital. The April 2024 trek will head to the Caribbean coast of Colombia to Trek to the Lost City. Read more at the Stars Appeal trek web page, where aspiring trekkers can also register for an Information Evening this September.