Finland money

Essex and Herts Air Ambulance launch fundraising trek in Finland

TRIP TO THE ARCTIC: The 2023 Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust trek will be in Finland. (Image: EHAAT)

Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) has launched its 2023 hiking challenge.

From March 2-6, participants will be challenged to join like-minded supporters and complete five days of snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and dog sledding on an arctic trip to Finland.

If you want adventure in your life and be the first to put your footprints in virgin snow, take on this challenge and raise money for a good cause at the same time.

Participants will be able to drink in a silent wilderness of peaceful frozen lakes and snow-covered forests and may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

As long as participants are over 18, fit and mobile, the trek is open to everyone.

The most difficult aspect will be the cold conditions which add to the difficulty of the activities. Temperatures in March are typically -6°C with highs of -1°C, and the coldest part of the day is at night when temperatures can drop to -10°C.

Highlights of the five-day trek include snowshoeing to a remote but cozy wilderness cabin with a traditional lakeside sauna, exploring frozen ridges and lakes on snowshoes, and sledding through white forests like snow.

Trek 2023 is part of an annual trek program that EHAAT offers as a more adventurous way for people to raise money for the life-saving charity. Previous hikers include Shelley Clark and Julie and Bryan Lewis

Julie, from Rayleigh, initially raised over £4,000 when she participated in the Great Wall of China Trek in 2019. She and her husband Bryan then raised an additional £2,000 by both participating in Hadrian’s Wall Trek in 2021 .

Julie said: “Having looked after my dad when he was suffering from cancer, one of the many conversations we had was about traveling and places I would like to visit. One of the main things to do was the Great Wall.

“My dad was a biker and was a regular at the annual EHAAT Motorcycle Fun Run in Harwich, both as a biker and a volunteer. As a biker he had seen the air ambulance in action too many times, c That’s why he always supported them.

“After dad passed away I was flipping through Facebook and the EHAAT Great Wall of China challenge popped up, and it resonated with me. I work from home so fundraising has been difficult, but I’ve made friends for life and I raised money for a very respectable charity with my dad always on my mind The whole experience was amazing and completely magical.

“Continuing during the closures, my husband and I started to walk more, to explore our area. So when the Hadrian’s Wall trek came up on my newsfeed, we said we would. The Fundraising isn’t easy but we blew it the water raising over £2,000 between us.”

Rayleigh’s Shelley Clark has already signed up for next year’s adventure in Finland, having raised over £4,000 by taking previous treks to Hadrian’s Wall and the Sahara Desert.

She said: “My sister was badly injured in December 2018 and I’m raising money for EHAAT so they can help families like mine – It’s my way of saying thank you.

“The whole booking process was really easy and I had the privilege of meeting and walking with amazing people on both but the Sahara Desert was truly amazing. I had no hesitation in asking myself sign up for next year’s trek; can’t wait.”

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EHAAT acts as an agent for Discover Adventure and the trip including the flight is financially protected by the ATOL program.

Emma Barker, revenue generation manager at EHAAT, said: “What I love most about our walks is how they bring people together. The atmosphere is supportive – and we always send a representative from our charity to participate and keep morale high..

“The element of challenge that is an integral part of all of our hikes is the very thing that binds our hikers together – and many of them form lifelong friendships. They are all amazing and each year they generate much needed funds for the charity. We are so grateful to each and every one of them. So if you’re looking for a bit of adventure, then come aboard.

As places are limited, the trust asks that you join them for their information evening on September 13 from 6-8pm at their base at North Weald Airfield.

To register your interest, email: [email protected] or call 0345 2417 690. To find out more, visit www.ehaat.org/fundraise/finland-trek.

Submitted by Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust


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