Cynthia Spencer Hospice plans Sahara challenge

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If trekking through the Sahara desert sounds like the trip of a lifetime to you, then a Northampton hospice could make it a reality.

Cynthia Spencer Hospice is running a Sahara Challenge in March 2014, with participants asked to raise a minimum of £2,000 in exchange for a week in Morocco.

The visit will take place from March 23–30, 2014, with two days spent assisting a community project and three days in the desert and Marrakech. The trek will take place as a joint venture with fund raisers from Cransley Hospice, in Kettering, and Lakelands Hospice, in Corby.

Fund-raising manager John Helm said: “It is three days’ trekking and a community project – “voluntourism” – for people who want to explore and who want to give something back.

“Everyone we recruit will need to raise at least £2,000; two thirds will go to us and one third will cover the costs.

“With the three hospices involved it will benefit patients countywide.

“The sooner we can get people signed up, the sooner we can get fund-raising.”

Organising the trip is part of a busy 2013 schedule for the hospice’s fund raisers, which also sees the 10th anniversary of the Cycle 4 Cynthia event.

The organisers are hoping to get celebrity backing for the event, which takes place in the grounds of Althorp in September.

The launch of this year’s event, and a prize-giving ceremony for the 2012 event, is being held at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens ground on Wednesday, February 6 at 6pm, with Saints’ director of rugby Jim Mallinder presenting the awards.

Community fund raiser, Sue Bownass, said all competitors are welcome to attend the night.

She said: “It is the 10th year, and if it were not for the members of the public who have supported the event, we would not have got to this stage.

“The more the merrier. It is their event and they have made it the success it is.”