Team of 5 raise £9k after Cambodia trek!

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Published on: Friday 06 Dec 2019 at 11:09

Congratulations to Team St Clare on completing their Cambodian trek!

The team at the start of their Cambodian trek
The team at the start of their Cambodian trek

A team of five, dedicated hospice supporters have raised almost £9,000 in vital funds for St Clare Hospice after taking on a 95km trek in Cambodia.

On Saturday 9th November, the team flew from the UK to Siem Reap in Cambodia, beginning an exciting adventure ‘off the beaten track’ to trek approximately 95km to the prestigious Angkor Wat, which is located on the upper plains of Kulen Mountain.

Five brave walkers took on the challenge to raise vital funding for St Clare Hospice, some of which are familiar personalities within the charity:

Partners, Deborah Fielding, 58 (Chair of Trustees at St Clare Hospice) and Ray Fielding, 58, both from Great Dunmow.
Dr. Qamar Abbas, 50, from Chelmsford – Medical Director at St Clare Hospice
Bethany Corder, 24, from Abridge – Former Fundraising Administrator at St Clare Hospice
Linda Pledger, 48, from Great Dunmow – Sponsored by Alloy Fabweld

The team trekked for five days in total through Cambodia, which lies in the heart of old Indochina; home to dazzling green rice-paddies and jungles dotted with temples and ruins, villages of thatched stilted houses, and small towns where Buddhist temples nestle amongst graceful French colonial buildings.

Bethany and Deborah mid-trek through the fields in Cambodia
Bethany and Deborah mid-trek through the fields in Cambodia

Commenting on the success of the trip, St Clare’s Chair of Trustees, Deborah, said: “This was a great opportunity for my partner, Ray, and I, as I had just retired from full-time work and was excited by this opportunity for an adventure! Our team of five hardly knew each other before the trek, but we quickly became a team and supported each other with chat, singing, jokes and stories! We also met some other inspirational people who were taking part, with uplifting stories about why they were raising money for their charities. Cambodia is an amazing country with lovely people who were very welcoming and happy to see us; it was a pleasure to trek through the beautiful countryside and landscape.

“The trek itself was a challenge, but it was also a huge privilege to be part of a fabulous team raising money for St Clare. As the Chair of Trustees at St Clare, I know only too well how important the fundraising income is to the excellent range of services that the Hospice offers to the local community. I would recommend anyone considering a challenge to take the next step and sign up for a great adventure and a great experience.”

Dr Qamar Abbas, Medical Director at St Clare, who has worked at the Hospice since 2000, also commented: “St Clare Hospice has been my biggest passion since I joined the organisation almost 20 years ago. Taking on this challenging trek was my way of helping to bring different hospice departments together, to support each other. And I’m so glad I did it!

“It was a ‘challenging’ trek. I hadn’t prepared for it as much as I could have, which is why on the third day, it was very nerve-wracking to be told we would climb 3,000m up Mount Kulen! However, the group had become such a close-knit bunch and everyone supported each other. I found out about other people’ inspirations for taking on the trek, and that was humbling. This has been the most exhilarating experience of my life! I have done other ‘adventure’ challenges, but this was totally different and very difficult. But I feel proud that I did this for the job that I love so much. Having the patients and families I’ve supported in the back of my mind was a great inspiration for me.

Medical Director Dr Abbas ankle-deep in water during the trek
Medical Director Dr Abbas ankle-deep in water during the trek

“I will continue to support St Clare in every way, and would encourage others in the local community to do the same. The inspiration to do something like this, to help others, was huge and I felt so fulfilled that I have played my small part in helping St Clare’s larger work and improving quality of life of my patients.”

Linda, who also took part in the challenge, said: “This was my first experience of travelling without my family or friends; a challenge in itself. However, after the week away, I returned with newfound friends who I shared the Cambodian adventure with. The most challenging part of the trek was ascending Kulen Mountain in the heat and humidity. The singing and good spirit of the group kept everyone pushing forward, though! The trek through rural Cambodia was amazing. The locals welcome you with a big smile. I would recommend a charity challenge to everyone. I have returned with new friends, new experiences and a new passion for trekking. I would like to thank Alloy Fabweld of Gt Dunmow for their sponsorship of my trip and all the people I know who have generously donated to St Clare.

Beth also commented: “Trekking for St Clare in Cambodia was the trip of a lifetime and I loved every second. It was definitely a challenge, with temperatures of up to 33 degrees; lots of mosquito bites; and blisters; but all my training definitely paid off as I was able to enjoy every day. Before I left, I wasn’t sure what to expect and was worried about how much I’d struggle. In fact, a standout moment for me was on one of the hottest days when lots of us were struggling with the heat and distance. We stopped to drink some water, and Qamar lay down on the ground to rest, when I said, ‘Qamar, I think you might be lying on a red ants nest?’ and he just said, ‘I don’t care!’ – that’s how tired we were! But it was great to be able to walk with the rest of Team St Clare, share our experiences of our local hospice, then motivate each other when times got tough.

“To hear the amount of money we’ve raised for St Clare together made all the late nights making cakes for bake sales, and all those rainy boot sales, all the more worthwhile. It feels great to know that my efforts have contributed to such a great total and although the amount raised is amazing, I think that the awareness that has been raised about St Clare to all the people I’ve spoken to during my past year of fundraising is priceless.Beth added, “Taking on a challenge for charity is such a special and amazing thing to do. It’s so special because you know you have all the support of the people who have sponsored you behind you, and also the knowledge that what you’re doing is helping the work of a cause you feel passionate about. You’re never going to regret doing something like this, so why wouldn’t you push yourself and do something amazing for yourself and for charity!?”


Congratulate the team

You can still sponsor the team to congratulate them on completing this once-in-a-lifetime challenge in aid of St Clare Hospice. Visit their fundraising pages to donate, at:

Dr. Qamar Abbas: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/QamarAbbas1 

Bethany Corder: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/BethanyCorder

Deborah and Ray Fielding: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/TheFieldingSeniors

Linda Pledger: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LindaPledger


Feeling inspired?

To find out more about taking on a challenge in aid of St Clare Hospice, contact Challenges & Events Fundraiser Emma Broadbent on 01279 773754 or email [email protected]

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