Trekking through the Sahara for Beckton hospice

Intrepid Richard House supporters braved sand dunes, creepy crawlies and scorching heat as they trekked across one of the most inhospitable places on the planet in aid of London’s first children’s hospice.

In total, eight fundraisers threw on their backpacks – stuffed to the brim with water bottles – for a four-day hike across the Sahara Desert.

Among those taking part was Richard House events manager Manjeet Boparai, 32. It was her first ever trek for the hospice and one she said she would like to repeat again.

She said: “I have been thinking of taking part in a trek for quite some time now but I was always put off because I have a phobia of bugs, spiders and general creepy crawlies.

“I signed up but, to be honest, this was the easy bit. As the days got nearer I honestly did think of pulling out, but then thought of why I am doing it and how the money raised will help all the children and families at Richard House.

“I am so glad I went because I had an amazing time and I created some lasting memories and great friends. In the midst of sleeping in tents, having baby wipe showers and walking over endless dunes everyone managed to support each other and have some great laughs.”

The event was organised alongside the Different Travel group. Participants enjoyed the sights and sounds of Marrakech for one day before trekking through the desert, aided by local Berber guides and their camels. They then returned to Marrakech before flying back home to London.

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More than �12,000 has been raised for the hospice. Also taking part were Sharon Kaur, Sophian Ejjanfi, Biju Ramakrishnan, Manoj Bhardwaj, Nisha Patel, Satinder Sohel and Mark O’Brien.

Richard House is currently looking to sign people up for a second trek, this time across India and the Himalayas in October 2012. This will see people working on a local project in Delhi before trekking through one of the world’s most astonishing mountain ranges.

The registration fee for this event is �300; minimum sponsorship is �2,850 per person.

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