Tag Archive for charity challenge

Why I’m cycling 362 miles for Barnardo’s

Holyhead to Barnardo’s Village Bike Ride

Martin Duffy will be taking part in The Big Barnardo’s Holyhead to Barnardo’s Village Bike Ride this October and raising over £2,150. He tells us a bit more about why he chose this challenge.

You’ve pledged to take part in the Big Barnardo’s Bike Ride for their 150th anniversary. Tell us more!

Ok, well after a bit of stalling, I’ve picked a fundraising challenge – and now I know there is no backing out! I will be cycling 362 miles from Holyhead to Barkingside this autumn, following the route that Thomas Barnardo took when he arrived in the UK in 1866.

Why have you chosen to raise money for Barnardo’s?

As Head of Fulfilment Operations at Barnardo’s, I have seen first-hand the difference that our services can make to children across the UK. Barnardo’s has been transforming children’s lives for 150 years, and I’m determined to ensure that continues. Last year alone, Barnardo’s worked with 240,000 children, young people and families including offering counselling, fostering and adoption services, and disability support. I feel very privileged to be able to take part in this unique challenge event.

What are you most looking forward to about the challenge?

Seeing the finish line at this stage of my training! I think that it is also the opportunity to take part in an event with like-minded individuals.

If you would like to sponsor Martin you can do so on his Justgiving page.

Feeling inspired yourself? Join Martin on what will be an historic bike ride – find out more.

Our Operations Manager, Andy Baker, updates us on his recce in Nepal

It has been a difficult year for Nepal, not that you would really know this from the warm greeting that I have received from all of our different ground crews here. In the week that Prince Harry has also made a trip around some of Nepal’s cultural highlights I too have been fortunate enough to spend some time working in collaboration with our ground teams on a couple of new itineraries that Charity Challenge will be running this autumn. Our Poon Hill Himalayan Trek in the Annapurna region, and our Kathmandu Valley Cycle.

First though has been a quick re-connection with an old favourite. Everest Base Camp. Last week 13 intrepid challengers stepped off the plane in Kathmandu to begin their long ascent through the Himalayas towards the iconic Base Camp. This is the first trip that Charity Challenge have run in Nepal since the disasters of 2015 and the trails are still quiet, making it the perfect time to visit.

Our itinerary rather uniquely combines both the authentic ‘teahouse’ experience and the challenge of camping. Meals are served by our kitchen team within the dining room of a local teahouse, whilst nights are spent under canvas just off the trail. The warmth and comfort of a teahouse, combined with the incredible vistas provided by unzipping your tent in the morning to a panorama of snow capped peaks. This is a fairly unique way to run this itinerary, and judging by the group who are still currently making their way to Base Camp, a very enjoyable way to do this trek.

Nepal has faced a tough year and we are delighted to have been able to start sending groups again and give local people some much needed work. With the creation of a couple of new itineraries hopefully even more people will get to sample this fantastic country soon.

As for me, well I am back in Kathmandu putting the finishing touches to the rest of my itinerary. A few days cycling in the Kathmandu Valley, followed by a trek to Poon Hill for views stretching off across to Annapurna. Not even Prince Harry can top that!

Andy Baker
UK Operations Manager

20% off all open challenge deposits – Hop to it!

The Easter Bunny has been let loose and is giving away 20% off the deposit on all open challenges*! Yes that’s right, book on any of our ‘open challenges’ before 31st March 2016 and quote HOP16 at the time of booking to get your Easter surprise!

There are so many exciting challenges to choose from, but if you’re a little stuck, let us help you!

Amazon Jungle Survivor Challenge

Be up for the ultimate jungle experience in the world’s largest rainforest and be the first Charity Challenge group to conquer the forest extremes in 2017? You will be trekking through the depths of the Amazon jungle in search of wildlife, dolphin and caiman spotting from canoes, developing your fishing skills in order to catch your dinner and sleeping in hammocks encompassed by the night sounds of the wilderness. What more could you want?! Click here for more information.

Cycle Burma

Enjoy the remoteness of this challenge! Cycle approximately 330kms of Burma’s rural countryside, from the former royal capital Mandalay to Inle Lake. Pedalling through the itinerary, expect to soak up spectacular sunsets over the ancient city of Bagan and pass remote villages in untouched corners. Click here for more information.

Kilimanjaro Trek: October 2016 a sell out!

Due to overwhelming demand, we have launched a new open Kilimanjaro (Lemosho Route) Trek this year in October 2016.  A magnificent mountain, that takes pride and stands tall in Africa. On many bucket lists, Mt Kilimanjaro is a must and this could be your chance. Click here for more information.

Want something slightly close to home?

Want to do a challenge, but not so far away or not over so many days? Then fear not, as we have a fantastic range of UK challenges which are proving to be very popular.  How about a 2 day trek in the Lake District tackling five of England’s most demanding peaks or a 140 mile bike ride from the Cumbrian coast to the North Sea? Even better, how about a multi activity challenge? Trek, cycle and kayak in Snowdonia National Park over 2 days! Who said the UK doesn’t offer physically and mentally challenging adventures? Let’s embrace the Great British outdoors!

More challenges

We have over 30 different challenges with almost 200 departures, so if any of the above challenges are not quite your cup of tea, click here to find the right challenge for you!

Follow us on Instagram

Did you know that we are now on Instagram as well as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Follow us at charity.challenge to find out what we’re up to, the latest promotions and just to view some fabulous images of our challenges!

Charity Challenge is turning 16 and offering a 16% discount off the deposit! Somebody get a cake!

CC Birthday FB Banner

This month Charity Challenge turns 16 and to celebrate this wonderful coming of age, we are offering 16% off ALL CHALLENGE DEPOSITS* from 10/06/2015- 10/07/2016, all you have to do is type the promotional code: BIRTHDAY16 when making a booking!

If you’ve already done a challenge with us before, then take advantage of our repeat booking discount which has doubled to £100 (£50 for short haul challenges)! Don’t forget to quote VACU at the time of booking.

Our wonderful suppliers have joined us in celebrating by offering additional discounts to all of you that are currently booked on a challenge. Log into your members area and take advantage of this!

The real challenge is deciding where you you want to be in 2016….so to help you decide we’ve put together some of our Charity Challenge favourites…

ANGKOR WAT?

Charity Challenge,

Pedal off from the architectural phenomenon that is Angkor Wat, through the waterways and rice paddies of Cambodia, past the postcard perfect beaches of Thailand and into the barmy backstreets of Bangkok. This truly is the best way to discover South East Asia, can you take on the 450kms that will take you through the heart of South East Asia? Find out more…

 

Cycle or Trek Beautiful Burma

Burma charity Trek, Charity Cycle to Burma

Mystical Myanmar has managed to remain largely untouched in comparison to its neighbours, perfectly preserving its magic, beauty, culture and secrets. Previously known as The Land of Gems, the views in Myanmar are truly humbling, it is the people however that are its best kept secret – warm, inviting and gentle, we promise you won’t find anywhere else like it on earth. Trekking or cycling through Myanmar offers you the opportunity to explore the lazy villages, meet the lovable locals and soak up all the spectacular views. Whilst this might all sound like a holiday, the terrain and the humidity ensure that exploring Myanmar is an incredibly worthwhile but challenging task. Take a look!

Trek Machu Picchu

Charity Trek to Machu Picchu, Charity Challenge, trekking, PeruThe ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu sit amongst the clouds, set an altitude of 2,667m to see them is to witness something truly magical. To get there however is no walk in the park but an incredible trek through the rarely visited Lares Valley, a region untouched by time. The scenery here is breathtaking throughout and you will be greeted by llamas, alpaca’s and the Quechua people in their brightly coloured ponchos.  The route is hard and you will spend your nights camping, under the Peruvian sky, the sight of Machu Picchu as you re-join the Inca trail and complete the 3000 steps to walk through the Sun Gate will however make any aches disappear. Click here to find out how you can climb through the clouds….

Charity Challenge, Sapa Hill Tribe Trek, Vietnam Trek, Trek

Vietnam Trek – Sapa Hill Tribe

The hill tribes of Sapa combine the iridescent greens of the rice paddies with the vibrantly coloured dress of the remote hill tribes. Trekking here takes you away from the wonderful madness of the eclectic city of Hanoi as we head off the beaten track into this tranquil but rugged region where rolling hills meet the Red River. We will meet remote hill tribes as we trek further into the region, the varied terrain seeing you tackle Mount Silverstone before taking on the jungle terrain as we follow the footsteps of local farmers and camp in this remote and beautiful region. Explore more…

Lombok Charity Trek, Trekking in Indonesia, indonesia, Trek, Mountain

Brank New: Lombok Trek

Lombok Lava Trek! Set in the ‘Ring of fire’ this exhilarating trek offers towering peaks reflecting in ethereal lakes. Taking on Mount Rijani volcano, one of Indonesia’s tallest peaks standing at 3,726m is worth every metre you climb as you stand triumphant at the top overlooking breath-taking views from the natural colours of the forest to the surrounding turquoise bays. This challenge is not for the feint hearted and involves very long days and high altitude. If you think you could take on this sensational landscape then click here to find out how…

A massive thank you from all of us here at Charity Challenge!

Charity challenge, Trekking, Cycling, Adventure travel, charity challenges

Here’s to another 16 years!

*Terms and conditions apply

Information Presentation: The North Pole!

Information Presentation about our North Pole Expeditions

1400hrs Friday 19th June 2015

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How you can sign up, train and prepare for an expedition to the Geographic North Pole!

We invite you to come to the prestigious Royal Geographical Society for an information presentation by celebrated polar guide Alan Chambers MBE.

Alan is a polar adventurer who received the MBE for ‘exceptional leadership in extreme adversity’ when he led the first successful unsupported British expedition to the Geographic North Pole, walking 672 nautical miles in temperatures as low as -65°C dragging a sledge the weight of a baby elephant. In preparation for his expedition Alan lived with a family of Inuits, indigenous to the Arctic for between 1 and 2 months every year for 5 years. Alan has since led top business leaders & chief executives to the North Pole in virtually every North Pole season since 2002. The North Pole challenge helped them explore and reflect on their own leadership capabilities.

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During our meeting on 19th June Alan will give a PowerPoint presentation about our North Pole Expeditions and enable you to really understand what is involved in joining one of our Polar expeditions. The April 2016 and April 2017 polar expeditions will be of approximately 14 days including flights. We shall also tell you about an opportunity to go on a short trip to the Arctic Circle in March 2016 and experience what it is like to be on a North Pole expedition.

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Jeremy Gane from Gane and Marshall and Simon Albert from Charity Challenge will also be on hand to answer your questions. Jeremy Gane FRGS, and also a director of Charity Challenge, has been researching and developing North Pole expeditions with Alan and Simon for the last five years. Gane and Marshall has teamed up with Charity Challenge to offer these exclusive North Pole expeditions, guided by Alan Chambers.

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The Information Day will take place on Friday 19th June 2015 from 1400hrs to 1630hrs in the Lowther Room at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR. We have arranged for the main presentation to run from 1430-1515hrs, tea and coffee will be served from 1400hrs.

Please let us know if you wish to attend by emailing Jeremy@ganeandmarshall.com

Discover the Great Wall – Revamped!

No we haven’t painted it cream, but we have switched up our Great Wall itinerary in order to ensure it’s more challenging, more responsible and even more interesting whilst avoiding the overcrowded tourist areas to showcase the very BEST of the Great Wall!

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To those of you who have been following Charity Challenge for a while, you will know that our Great Wall itinerary is one of our oldest, but most popular, treks. In recent years we have seen many renovations and improvements to the structure of the Wall, as well as the addition of toilets, shops and other modern amenities (of dubious quality it has to be said!!). The knock on effect of these renovations has meant that certain areas of the Wall around Beijing are becoming very touristy, mainly Chinese tourists who want to see their beautiful country. It also means that some days of our current challenge have become a lot easier, with people knocking off as much as 2 hours in their completion… not ideal for a Charity Challenge!

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So for the last 6 months we have been looking into new areas of the Wall that could replace certain days in our current itinerary. This has been an exciting development and research phase, with our Senior Operations Manager, Carmel out in China this month with one of our groups, to inspect some of the amendments that we have already made.
The new areas are just as challenging, but quieter, more remote, and offer a more ‘authentic’ experience of China. So we hope you like them!!
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Huanghuacheng: The Huanghuacheng area of the Wall is new for 2015, and has replaced one of the other areas that was becoming a bit touristy. As one leader said it was like “Disneyland goes to China!” Huanghuacheng is possibly the most remote and rural part of the Wall in our new itinerary – you will find yourself scrambling up to the watchtowers across overgrown paths, crumbling, stony terrain and steep steps.

“It was totally amazing. Each day was so different in terms of scenery and terrain. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but loved every minute.”

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It has received rave reviews as ‘the most exciting day’. With many steep ascents and descents, it’s certainly a challenge but our participants are rewarded by the incredible scenery and the knowledge that you won’t see another soul!

“A truly amazing experience”

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Mutianyu: 2015 challengers are again the first to experience the change to the final day, at Mutianyu. When our 2014 groups trekked up the Heavenly Staircase to celebrate their achievement at the final watchtower, they were surprised to see another watchtower lurking on the horizon… this seemed a bit of a cop out to many of the group, who felt that there was still some of the climb left to do. They then turned around and trekked back down in the same way as they came, which, although an amazing achievement, seemed like a bit of an anticlimax. And that is alongside the rest of the tourists getting the cable car!! Now that the route up to this new watchtower has been repaired and inspected, we have been researching new ways to get there, and we are excited to be launching a complete route, which is set to be a spectacular improvement on the norm.

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The day now begins not at a busy carpark next to Subway, but at a remote village below the wall. You will trek for around 3 hours to reach the Wall itself, up a steep, narrow path amid the overgrowth, through which a watchtower looms about 200m above you in the distance. Comments from this year include ‘we’re not going up there, are we?!’… the watchtower actually represents the final climb and the pinnacle of the day, with a long (2.5 hr) trek down to the original carpark. After 3 hours of trekking amid the overgrowth, the views of the rest of the Wall stretching down in front of participants has provoked some emotional reactions… including a surprise proposal!!

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Carmel also went to discover a brand new section of the Wall in May, but has made the decision, as it stands, NOT to replace any of our current itinerary with that day, although it gives us options in the future when China becomes more and more visited by tourists.

“Life changing, after this trip I now feel there is nothing I cannot conquer. Bring on my next trip”

GreatWall8The itinerary as it stands provides an amazing overview of old and new, renovated and un-renovated, remote and touristed. We hope that this trek is one that will never get old, and to prove it here’s what they thought!

“It was an amazing adventure with an amazing team back in the UK and in China – Charity Challenge has done themselves proud again – Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.”

Click here to discover the Great Wall!

 

Join Charity Challenge Director, Simon Albert, on a community build in Nepal

Charity Challenge director, Simon Albert, is heading out to Nepal in November this year to help build homes for communities in desperate need.

There are 20 places available to join him. Are you up for the challenge?

The recent earthquake in Nepal (25th April 2015) with a magnitude 7.8, killed more than 8,000 people and injured more than twice as many.

“It has been more than 20 years since I first trekked through Nepal, and I still remember those trekking days with great fondness. Now I look forward to returning and helping Nepal to get back on its feet and to really make a positive difference to those living below the poverty line.”

Some estimate that the final death toll could top 10,000 people. Hundreds of people are still considered missing and more than 450,000 are displaced. Many people were made homeless with entire villages flattened, across many districts of the country. Over 284,455 houses were destroyed and 234,102 damaged. The need for housing was massive before, now the task is even greater.

Simon has previously led teams to build houses in Sri Lanka, India and South Africa, and is looking to take a team of 20 people with him who will raise funds for the work of Habitat for Humanity, and physically work for 6 days on the build site in Pokhara, Nepal.

IMG_7139Join Simon and a team of other volunteers to put your heart and sweat into what we believe will be one of the most rewarding experiences we can offer, a helping hand to communities in desperate need of a safe place to live.

Please email info@charitychallenge.com to register your interest in joining Simon in Nepal in November.

If you want to wake up each morning knowing that by the end of each day, you will have helped a community in need to build a brighter future, then please read on.

Building a home for a family in need of help is a unique experience that opens your eyes to the plight of those who do not have the basics that most of us take for granted.

For families who are determined to break out of the cycle of poverty, your support to build a new home brings with it the anticipation of building a better future for themselves. For children, a new home offers a chance to grow and thrive in surroundings that are safe. A place to live where they are sheltered from bad weather, fall ill less, go to school more regularly, and get to enjoy childhood.

IMG_1587It is both a physical and emotional experience, and volunteers often come away from participating in a community challenge with a greater understanding of poverty and the affect it can have on family life.

All it takes to participate in this challenge is enthusiasm, a willingness to do whatever is needed and a desire to help make a difference to the lives of the people whose home you will be building.

No other skills are required as there will be skilled supervisors to show you what to do.

The outlined itinerary is as follows:
Day 1: Thu 29 Oct 2015 – London to Delhi
Day 2: Fri 30 Oct 2015 – Arrival in Kathmandu, Nepal
Day 3: Sat 31 Oct 2015 – Transfer to Pokhara
Day 4-9: Sun 01 to Fri 06 Nov 2015- Building work
Day 10: Sat 07 Nov 2015 – Transfer to Kathmandu
Day 11: Sun 08 Nov 2015 – Depart Nepal for UK

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The challenge will involve working in teams to help on the construction of a new home. Tasks may involve digging foundations, chipping rocks, cutting and framing with bamboo, mixing clay or render, sieving sand, moving materials around the site, and setting window or door frames.

Houses will vary according to the family size, allocating 48.2 square meters per family, and each house will have two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a toilet.

Everything you do on a construction site, whether it is sifting sand, removing or placing dirt, mixing cement by hand or passing buckets of mortar to another team member, is helping the community. It is an inspiring process to be involved in.

You will never be asked to do anything outside of your physical capabilities and team work will be encouraged at all times.

No volunteer will ever be made to feel they have to do something they are not happy or comfortable doing. If you feel you cannot do what you have been asked to, please speak to your construction supervisor or team leader and they will do their best to find you something else.

You will be required to pay a deposit of £500 and raise a minimum of £3200 for Habitat for Humanity (of which no more than £700 will be used to cover the balance of your international flights and Kathmandu hotel costs).

Places are strictly allocated on a first come first served basis.

For more information about this challenge or other similar challenges, please email info@charitychallenge.com.

Home to the majestic Mount Everest, Nepal is also one of the world’s poorest countries.

A 2010/2011 national survey on living standards estimated that 25 percent of the population lives on the equivalent of less than US$1 a day.

According to the Nepali government, about 9.5 million people (41 percent of the population) live in inadequate housing. Such structures are typically supported by bamboo or old timber pillars, with mud walls and thatched roof. Water is often unsanitary and few dwellings have toilets or electricity.

These dilapidated houses are also a fire risk; nearly 10,000 families lose their homes to fire every year. Thousands of others have their houses destroyed by landslides, floods and other natural disasters each year.

Additional information:

Pokhara
The build will take place in Pokhara. It was planned before the earthquake and will support families living in totally inadequate shelter to build a better future on the solid foundation of a simple, disaster resilient home. The Charity Challenge team will work wherever it is deemed most appropriate by Habitat for Humanity on the ground. The funds you raise will directly support the project and will ensure Habitat, across the UK, continues to engage people directly in building a world where everybody has a decent place to live.

Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity’s life-changing mission is to create a world where everyone has a decent place to live.nep3
Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 5 million people in 70 countries to construct, rehabilitate or preserve their homes since 1976.

Globally, Habitat has also served more than one million people in 44 countries in the aftermath of disaster and conflict, and reached thousands more through disaster risk reduction.

Habitat for Humanity Nepal (HFHN)

Since its formation in 1997, Habitat for Humanity Nepal has helped 54,354 families into decent homes, opening the door to breaking the cycle of poverty.

HFHN strongly supports the preservation of the natural environment, and actively promotes the development and use of sustainable building materials that will be incorporated in to all houses.

Since the earthquake, they are working in partnership with the Nepali government, the UN Shelter Cluster, and local communities to ensure the effectiveness of their response.

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N.B. The itinerary is there as a guide and may change due to the weather, the strength of the group and so on. We will do our very best to keep to the set itinerary however we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that might occur. In all such circumstances, your community challenge leader / construction supervisor will have the final say.

Images © Ezra Millstein / Habitat for Humanity

 

 

Am I too old and unfit?

Am I too unfit blogAt Charity Challenge we are lucky enough to work with a huge variety of people and often get asked questions regarding age and fitness levels, so when 55 year old cancer survivor Jackie asked if she was fit enough to do a challenge, we were inspired and overwhelmed by all your incredible stories and support. A huge thank you to everyone and to Jackie, we can’t wait to have you on a challenge with us soon, you are an inspiration.

Below is Jackie’s question and your fantastic replies: 

“I am so pleased I found your page and have been enjoying the info and stories – I am hoping for some advice from you – I am a 55 yr old cancer survivor who has been looking into doing a challenge, both from the “giving something back” angle and also to give myself a goal and some much needed motivation, however I worry about not keeping up with the rest of the groups – your pictures show fit looking thirty ish people and I wonder if you can offer any advice on this? I walk and cycle at present and would obviously train, but I worry about my age slowing me up! Ps I am 2 years post treatment Thank you in advance! Jackie “

Sally Wilson: I broke my back Jackie in 2008 and since then I have climbed Kili, run the London marathon, trekked to Machu Pichu and sled 220kms with husky doges. £50k is in the kitty for my charity Help for Heroes having met two soldiers who lost legs in Afghan. They remain my inspiration. So…. Take a deep breath, commit to a challenge. You will NEVER regret. As for being fit. The Charity Challenge family supports all abilities and none of them are races. By being at the back you can enjoy the scenery and the kettle is ready and boiled at the end of each day. Do it x Thanks to charity challenge I now concentrate on life’s positives. Thank you. Kili remains the greatest achievement in my life and I thank Hellen our leader for that.

Sally Wilson Gareth Smith: I am over weight and unfit and I was able to walk the Great Wall. Was tough don’t get me wrong but I did it. Gareth Smith2 Mark Barry: In January last year I couldn’t climb a flight of stairs, but in October climbed Kilimanjaro. I am 51. You have beaten off cancer so you can do it. You can check out a blog I wrote about my experience. There is plenty of text and photographs you can use or email me and I can send you some stuff. The link to my blog at http://marksptc.blogspot.com I am thinking of doing an update 6 months on as 5 of our group have stayed in touch and met up. I think it is an important part of the story if anyone undertakes a challenge.Mark Barry

Steve Bignell: Go for it,you don’t know what your capable of until you do it,cancer is the hardest thing your ever going to face

Jamie Foskett: Hi Jackie. Firstly I think this will be a walk in the park seeing what you have had to battle through . Massive congratulations on that and that shows you’re a true warrior.
If this helps, I know countless people similar to your age that perform marathons with myself, life doesn’t stop at 55. Age is just a number. Get training and show all of those 30 something’s up!

Sue Gray: I was 62 when I climbed Kilimanjaro with Charity Challenge, although not at the peak of my physical ability due to recent chemotherapy, my team encouraged me all the way. That was nearly 3 years ago and the majority of my fellow climbers are still in touch with each other and have regular get togethers. Definitely go for it – I did and never regretted it!

Sue Gray

Christine Kelly: I was 51 when I did my trek and not that fit having beaten breast cancer. It was the best experience in the World.

Hilary Banks: I was 54 and just a few years earlier had a major stroke which left me disabled for a couple of years. I signed up for the same reasons as you are thinking – to raise money for the Stroke Assn and as a personal goal to work towards. I decided to do the Sumatra Jungle challenge. I was in a fantastic group of ladies (nicknamed by our guide Sunarto Kinol as The Tigers!) and with one exception we were all over 50 – the oldest being in her late 70’s. Yes it was hard work, but it’s not called a challenge for nothing! The thing is that everyone wants you to succeed and so you get the most fabulous encouragement and support throughout, both from your team members and the guide team. Take the plunge, you won’t regret it and it’s a huge sense of achievement…

Hilary Banks & Christine Kelly - Sumatra! Chris Robinson: I was nearly 64 on my first challenge and last year at 67 cycled over the Andes (though wasn’t 100% fit following an operation). Intend to do a cycle challenge again next year – when I’ll be in my 70th year. Do it Jackie and prove cancer didn’t beat you!

Moyra Mcglynn: I have done 2 trips with charity challenge … My first age 52 and second aged 56. The support you get from the other people with you and the organisers is incredible I am hoping to do one more before I am 60. You go girl. Both my experiences were nothing but exhilarating and the camaraderie was heartwarming and restores your faith in human nature x

Brian Palmer: Hi Jackie, I’m 66 and not exactly an athlete I have done SEVEN challenges with CC every single one has been fantastic. Rest assured the challenge leaders never set a pace that can’t be managed by all in the group and the support by the local team and doctor is always superb. Just make sure that you are able to walk all morning, 3 or 4 hours (with breaks) and another 3 or 4 hours after lunch. Stamina is the key not speed. Take my advice, go for it Brian Palmer - Stok Kangri Lesley Weeks Jackie…I did my first challenge aged 50, overweight and not very fit, I have since done another three, with each one getting a little fitter but not thinner  Don’t worry about it, Charity Challenge are brilliant at looking after you but not smothering you, there will be some sort of back up transport, jeep, car or horse if you really can’t manage it at any time. I would suggest something not too mountainous and walk it. If you are at the back of the group don’t worry about that either as as the week will go on the group at the back gets bigger and remember it’s not a race, you go at your own pace. Good luck and let us know what you decide.

Lesley-Weeks

Fiona Scragg: Hi Jackie, I did my first challenge when I was 45, unfit and overweight. I was even scared abot getting across London on my own to meet my group at Gatwick. 5 years on I have just entered the ballot for the 2016 London marathon. Go for it. You never regret what you have tried only what you have missed. xx

Rachel Walker: Hi Jackie, I am a soon to be 40 year old of just above average fitness I would say, and in September I am taking part in the Stok Kangri summit trek in India for the NSPCC. This will be my 6th overseas challenge with Charity Challenge and I can’t recommend them enough. They are truly life changing and you get to meet life long friends. My 1st trek was the Inca Trail which I did in 2005 with my Mum who was 68 at the time. She led our group over the highest part of the trek as the last thing you want to do at altitude is go fast! I’ve also done Everest Base Camp with a 64 year old (he had no problems) the human body is capable of so much! I would say get booking, you certainly won’t regret it!! Rachel xxxx

Sarah Kelly: And you’re always looked after too- it’s a group and everyone encourages each other – you will be fine x

Katherine Irvine: Ditto to all above and what Sarah Kelly said – like minded people who all look out for one another on the challenges. If someone is struggling a bit then it’s okay as everyone has those days – that’s what a challenge is all about. Arrive at the airport as strangers, but friendships are forged by the time the challenge starts. We all get each other through it! And the challenge leaders both from Charity Challenge and the local tour leaders really look out for us all, regardless of fitness or age!

Katherine Irvine
Iona Nelson: I did the Everest Base Camp challenge in March/April this year and we had a range on our group: from 22 right up to mid 50s! There was a massive difference in ability too, but the guides and sherpas always made sure the people at the back had someone with them, and spread themselves throughout the group to make sure everyone was alright. Everyone did really well, some.not making it due to altitude sickness (which has nothing to do with age or fitness), but everyone did really well, young and old. The group supported each other the whole way through – it’s an incredible experience and you’ll make friends for life! Definitely go for it!

Iona Nelson Everest Base Camp
Wendy Mould: I did the ‘Great wall’ trek aged 48 and ‘The Machu Picchu’ trek aged 50. Both very different but equal in the fact that we went thr speed of the slowest person. I went with the attitude that if the slowest person was me then so be it because at least i was doing it. On both trips the “team spirit” was amazing as we we’re all there with a common goal to raise money. For the reasons you stated just go for it. Enjoy x

Trudi Clark: Charity Challenge are best choice for organisation, attention to detail and people’s needs. I’ve done Peru, Kili and Zambezi with them; where I had the privilege to meet two cancer survivors, no one ever slows the group up it is always at a pace to suit everyone. I must say I felt, especially with a special lady on Kilimanjaro trek, it was an honour to have shared the challenge with her. So go for it, you’ll love it (but do take plenty of baby wipes!).

Trudi Clark - Zambezi

Sue Youngman: I’d say probably not but you’ll never know just how much you can achieve unless you try. I was thinking similar thoughts this time last year when my friend Elaine Nicholas (58) was trying to convince me to sign up for Trek Cuba at the age of 63. I agreed, to celebrate my 10th anniversary of finishing treatment for breast cancer. Once signed up we followed the training schedule religiously to make sure we were the best we could be. We had an amazing time and taught the youngsters a thing or two. The picture says it all!

Trek Cuba - Sue Youngman

Jo Berridge: I’m a fairly unfit 30 something. On the 4 treks I’ve done I’ve been accompanied by several cancer survivors aged 30-60, my mum aged 67 came on my last one (and is coming on my next!) and the CC celebrity that Shirley (now aged 80 and having done ten treks I think!!) was also on the last one. The only person on the 4 treks I’ve done that really struggled was a 30 something who’d done no training. I promise that you will be fine but more importantly whichever challenge you pick you will love every second and probably end up addicted keep us posted please!! Xx

Jo Berridge - Machu PicchuElisabetta Maldini: I was an unfit 48 years old and managed to complete the Machu Picchu trek. The group, the guides and all the staff have been amazing all the way! I would recommend it xx

Anne Williamson: A challenge is not a race. You go on it for your own achievement and enjoyment . Enjoy.x

Anne-Marie Davies: No way – do it!

Marie Chaston

Marie Chaston: My dad went to China with my sister and I in April this year and he’s 70. He’s by no means a fitness freak and he was at the front or middle of the group. I don’t know about the other challenges but you will be fine on Great Wall. My sister and I were both over weight and did about 6 months walking and didn’t find it too hard. I’m sure if you already walk and cycle you would be fine. No one was ever rushed or felt like they couldn’t keep up. Charity challenge is a fantastic company and will look after you.

Marie Chaston's Dad - Dave Relph

Leah Hocking: My mum is this age suffers from Parkinsons and attempted the great Wall of China challenge. In the end it was too much for her to go with the main group, but the local guides martin and tony did a fabulous job arranging alternative routes and another local guide. She was disappointed not to do the full challenge but still had an amazing time and overcame a huge personal challenge. I’m a 20 something and not terribly fit and felt like I was dying once or twice but the team and Angela Gillespie our English guide got me through. Give it a try you’ll be fine!

Sharon Hartley: Jackie you survived cancer. You can do ANYTHING x

Katie Podgorski: Regardless of age, Jackie, you can do it.

Jackie Whalen: A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has commented on my question, I can see that I’ve come to the right organisation and I feel so inspired by your stories and support, I feel amongst friends already and now it’s just a question of choosing my challenge!

A huge thank you to Jackie and everyone that replied. Jackie, welcome to the Charity Challenge Family!

If all these incredible stories have inspired you to challenge yourself, why not take a look!

team-photo

Vote now and help us raise an additional £50m for our charity partners!

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Charity Challenge have been entered into the high profile ‘Pitch to Rich’ Awards, run by Virgin Media!

Winning will enable us to raise an additional £50m for our charity partners!!

If you would like to help us be in with a chance of winning, please click here to vote now, it will take no more than 10 seconds, but hurry, voting closes this coming Tue 05 May!

If you want some inspiration as to why we deserve your vote, please read on:

Charity Challenge has helped thousands of people step outside their comfort zones, get fit and push themselves to their limits on incredible challenges worldwide, while raising over £47,000,000 for charity! But we want to do more!

We have supported over 1,700 UK, Irish and Canadian registered charities, facilitated challenges for scores of corporates, as well as multiple high profRich-Pics-2ile celebrity events.

The funds raised have helped to provide protection for vulnerable children, shelter for the homeless and funding for cancer research.

Our work involves helping incredible people to find the courage to overcome their fears, achieve amazing personal goals and inspire their friends and family with theiraccomplishments, all while supporting causes they care about.

We have an enthusiastic and motivated team, an inspiring range of challenges and a great vision for the future.

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We have been honoured and recognised by the British Citizens Awards for Business, the Institute of Fundraising Partners in Fundraising Awards (for two years running), the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development, Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards, the Queen and numerous foreign governments.

We hope to be recognised by these awards for 16 years of hard work, inspiring others, and making a real and positive difference to the world!

Rich-Pics-4Many thanks for your support!

Best Regards,

Simon Albert

Director

Nepal Earthquake

To all of you who have been to Nepal and met our incredible team, we have now managed to speak with Kamal who has single-handedly led many of you to Everest Base Camp, and to Iswari who manages the ground operations team in-country. Both are safe after the earthquake, but the landlines have been down and we are yet to get any more detail. Clearly this is a devastating earthquake and our thoughts and prayers go to all concerned in Nepal. We will be donating the bulk this year’s Charity Challenge Community Support Fund to the disaster relief effort. If anyone would like to further support the UK’s efforts to help the people of Nepal, please visit one of the following websites:

UNICEF

Save the Children

ActionAid

As we have more details, we will keep you updated.

Many thanks.

Simon