Arctic trekkers net £17,000 for hospice
10:02am Sat Apr 26, 2014
More than £17,000 has been raised by adventurers who took part in two Arctic expeditions that were both hit by bad weather.
stacey bushell, left, and Jo Lister during their Arctic challenge.
stacey bushell, left, and Jo Lister during their Arctic challenge.
The fundraising manager for Beaumond House Community Hospice, Newark, Cathy Lowe, said the final total would not be known until next month and praised the efforts of the eight people who took part.

The Arctic Experience Challenge was organised by the charity following two Sahara Challenges.

Cathy said they were looking for ideas for the next adventure, likely to take place in 2016.

The Arctic challenges were led by Mr Mike Thornewill, of Thurgarton, who has completed expeditions to the South and North Poles.

He said strong winds were constant and it was warmer than normal, which meant there were moist conditions to contend with, making it harder to keep things dry.

The first expedition had to return to base after the first night because storm-force winds ripped one of the tents.

“When we got back we were told that they had been so strong that a 53-seater coach had blown over,” said Mr Thornewill.

They reversed the trek route and started from the finishing point so they had the wind at their backs.

The wind was still a factor when Mr Thornewill returned to Norway for the second expedition but they decided to keep to the original route.

There was good progress on the first two days but on the third day the weather was so bad they had to remain where they were.

The route was changed at that point to ensure they could get back to base in time.

Taking part in the first expedition were Ceri Lyons, of Newark, John Daubney, of Fenton, and Sam Briggs and Jo Turner, both of Dry Doddington.

Mrs Turner said she struggled to climb a hill on the first day because of the wind. She said it was a major setback when they were told they had to return to base.

“We couldn’t really believe we had got that far only to have to go all that way back,” she said.

“We had to decide if we wanted to change the route and we all agreed we would rather have the wind behind us.”

TREKKERS Ceri Lyons, left, and Jo Turner.
TREKKERS Ceri Lyons, left, and Jo Turner.
She said they were treated to some spectacular views throughout the trek.

“There was a fabulous team spirit,” she said.

“We all encountered different things on different days but we all pulled together and it worked out.”

Mr Royst Howell, of Witham St Hughs, was on the second expedition but had to return to base early after falling seriously ill with flu and a kidney infection.

“Although I could not complete the trek it was still an amazing opportunity,” he said.

“I would love to have the chance to do it again.”

Teammates Stacey Bushell, of Becking-ham, Jo Lister, of Flintham, and Jason John, of Fernwood, said it was hard to see him leave but they decided they had to go on.

Jo said it had been tough having to spend 15 hours a day in a tent. Each one was used by four people and it was where they lived, cooked and ate when they were not trekking.

Jo said they found it difficult to consume enough food to ensure they had enough energy.

“The cold was painful too,” she said.

“It was hard at the time but looking back it was a rewarding experience. There was a brilliant team spirit.”

Stacey said it had been an amazing experience and she would love to do it again.

Mr Thornewill said the trekkers had been a credit to Beaumond House.

“It was not an easy challenge but they all did extremely well,” he said.

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