Pembrokeshire based Hospice at Home Charity, Paul Sartori Foundation regularly organise overseas challenges to raise vital funds to help maintain their range of services, provided to Pembrokeshire people living in the final stages of a life-limiting illness. In March 2020, the participants of the Kerala Challenge were due to set off to India for the Charity’s fourth overseas challenge, but unfortunately the trek had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Finally, at the end of 2022 after months of training and fundraising, the team of 13 participants began to prepare for a challenge of a lifetime. Before leaving for Kerala, nothing had prepared the group for the challenging, Indian Visa application process. A special thanks goes to Simon Hart MP and his team, who managed to use their contacts in the Indian Embassy to speed up the Visa application. Some of the group thought that they would not be able to participate, as their Visa’s did not arrive until two days prior to departure. Sadly, one challenger did not get their Visa in time and were unable to join the group.

After the 23 hour journey, the group were taken to the foot of the 2nd highest mountain in India the Meesapulimala Peak, 2630m high, thick with endemic plants, wildlife and home to 100,000 hectors of tea plantations. Over the 10 day trek the group walked through miles of tea plantations, over streams, and through villages, where they received warm welcomes from the locals. At times they were so remote, that there was evidence of wild elephants, leopards, wild boar, deer, and other wildlife in the area.

Sandra Dade, Paul Sartori Charity Manager said “There was a balance of adventure, challenge, and cultural experiences. We were all pushed beyond our boundaries, for many different reasons; some physical, some had food challenges, some were very challenged by the camping and toilet situation, many struggled leaving family behind, but we all came away with a sense of achievement, a life changing experience and an experience that exceeded our expectations beyond imagination”.

Paul Sartori Foundation said “It is with sincere thanks to the 13 trekkers for spending hours of time away from their family organising fundraising event and during periods of training, and out of pocket expenses for kit and travel. Also, a massive thank you to everyone who supported the trekkers and helped to raise a phenomenal amount of money for the Hospice at Home services.

After of conquering Meesapulimala Peak, the second highest mountain in India, the group recently celebrated the success of raising an staggering £18,500 for the Hospice at Home Clinical Services.

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