Hiking heroes take on Iceland trek and raise £9,593 for Sue Ryder hospice

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Two determined friends braved sub-zero temperatures to complete a wintry trek in Iceland, raising thousands of pounds for Peterborough’s Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.

Natalie Torrens, from Newborough, and Theresa Gillett, from Deeping St James, pulled on their hiking boots and trekked through wild and rugged landscapes such as mountains and valleys.

The trek, which took place at the end of last year, saw the pair hike across miles of snow-covered terrain, accompanied by a group of fellow Sue Ryder supporters.

This included walking around the shores of Lake Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland, and through a geothermal valley with steam vents, hot springs and bubbling mud pools.

It has been announced Natalie and Theresa have raised £9,593 for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, which provides compassionate care for people with life-limiting conditions and also supports their families.

The big-hearted pair raised the money through donations and by organising activities ahead of the trek such as a virtual raffle and auction. Some of their friends supported their fundraising efforts by doing parachute jumps and singing Christmas carols online.

Natalie and Theresa said: “The Iceland trek surpassed all of our expectations! We saw some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. The trekking days were long and tiring and we battled through ever-changing weather, which went from clear and sunny one moment to heavy snow the next. We also met some lovely people, who we will keep in touch with.

“We are delighted to have raised £9,593, which is part of our on-going fundraising for the hospice. We would really like to thank all our family and friends for their support and to everyone who donated prizes or purchased auction items or raffle tickets. We could not do what we do without their support.”

Natalie and Theresa, who are members of Empire Gym in Market Deeping, started raising vital funds for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice several years ago.

They explained: “We went to an information evening at our gym where we heard the hospice’s fundraising team speak so passionately about the hospice. It made us really want to do something to help. Our first event was a coffee and cake morning, which included an auction and raffle. We were so overwhelmed by the support of the local community that it became the start of our fundraising efforts for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. Since then, we have also had personal experience of using the hospice’s services and this has further inspired us to carry on fundraising. We have more fundraising ideas up our sleeves for the future!”

Joely Garner, Community Fundraising Manager at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, said: “Congratulations to our super supporters Natalie and Theresa for braving the snow, wind and rain to complete your incredible Iceland challenge. We want to say a huge thank you for going the extra mile and for your on-going support of our hospice; we are really grateful for everything you have done. The amazing amount raised will help to ensure the compassionate care we give can continue – making room for the things that matter and filling families’ final days with love.

“If you are inspired by Natalie and Theresa, we are searching for other supporters who can take on events and challenges to raise crucial funds. If you fancy an adventure, you can sign up for a Transylvania Winter Wilderness Trek in early 2023, which involves hiking in snowy forests and mountains. You don’t have to climb mountains though – we also have plenty of other ideas and suggestions – big and small! Our hospice’s fundraising team would love to hear your ideas. You can email us at thorpe.fundraising@sueryder.org or call 01733 225 999. You can also browse our event calendar at www.sueryder.org/events


About Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice

  • Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice is the only specialist palliative care inpatient unit in Peterborough.
  • We provide expert palliative care and support for people who are living with life-limiting conditions, as well as supporting their families.
  • Our multi-disciplinary team includes doctors, nurses, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, complementary therapy, bereavement counsellors, and psychological and spiritual support.
  • We also offer a variety of other services, including aHospice at Home service for people who prefer to receive palliative care at home, family and bereavement support, complementary therapies and spiritual care.
  • Our staff and volunteers provide people with the compassion and expert care they need, to help them live the best life they can.

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