To the foot of the roof of the world!

13 Mar 2017

 Since completing the 3 Peaks Challenge in just under 24 hours in 2015 I have been inspired to undertake another fundraising challenge. At Mary Ward we support people to realise different and better possibilities for themselves whether that's better health, better wealth, better happiness. For some they realise that life is possible. Our education centre is a haven of rich and broad opportunities for everyone to enjoy regardless of their situation, status or characteristic.  Ever decreasing funding means that each year we have to do more with less if we are to continue to support at least the same amount of people.  Last year we supported 194 students with bursaries to help towards fees, travel, materials and childcare.  Half of these people were not entitled to the concessionary fees but were on low incomes, others were older people no longer entitled to concessionary fees.  Without this support they would not have be able to attend their classes.  'I have mental health issues and I attend the Mary Ward Centre for motivation, learning new skills which I can use to create my own jewellery, and as a lifeline to socialise and have structure and purpose in my life’ Education Centre student Our legal centre provides free legal advice, casework and representation to those who are the most vulnerable.  The cuts to Legal Aid is the equivalent to funding for 1,000 cases.  For many clients we are the last chance for help – they have nowhere else to go.  Unless people have the means to enforce their rights, those rights have no meaning. ‘There is no way I’d still be in my home without the help of the Mary Ward Legal Centre.’ Legal Centre client The more funds we raise the more people will benefit from our services.  So in November 2017 I will be trekking to Everest Base Camp in the Khumbu region of the Himalayas in Nepal to raise money for Mary Ward. Everest Base Camp is at 5,365m and sits at the foot of the world’s highest mountain.  In addition to reaching Base Camp the final high point of the challenge is Kala Patthar which is at 5,550m.  The round trip trek is approx. 130k at altitude taking 11 days with a couple of days for acclimatisation along the way. Between 3,500 and 5,500m is considered very high altitude and my memory and spatial awareness will be impaired and my ability to complete basic tasks will be dramatically reduced and slowed.  Some may say that’s normal for me!  There is also a risk of acute mountain sickness which should not be underestimated.  As if that is not enough I will be staying in 'tea houses'. Sounds nice doesn't it?  Don't be fooled, the accommodation has very basic and limited facilities.  No hot water, no showers, non-flushing and or outside toilets.  Although most have a central yak dung stove!  I love outdoor adventure but I have never taken on anything of this magnitude in my life or been above 4000m!  In addition to what will be a serious physical and mental challenge there is also a pretty nerve racking flight to Lukla - rated in the top ten of the world’s most dangerous!The plane doesn't really take off, kind of just goes down the runway until it falls away from the plane!  And did I mention that there are no showers!  I am funding the trip myself so 100% of your donations will go to support students / clients at the education and legal centre.  I will be setting up a Facebook page where you will be able to keep up to date with my training and fundraising as well as when I am in Nepal.  You can make donations at www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/susancraggs2  All donations are welcome but as important is to share my challenge with your friends, families, colleagues and other networks so that we can raise as much money as possible.  If you would like to arrange your own event to raise money for this challenge or if you know of others who may be interested in supporting it then please get in touch at sue.craggs@marywardcentre.ac.uk

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