Stars Appeal trekkers who reached lost city raised whopping £83,000

A GROUP of Stars Appeal fundraisers who trekked for miles over five days to reach Colombia’s Lost City raised a whopping £83,927.

The group of 33, aged from 80 to 23, walked between six and 12 hours each day during their trip in April, to reach the 1,500-year-old Lost City of Teyuna.

They faced torrential rain and sticky, slippery mud as they trekked through the rainforest.

After their long days of walking, they stayed in simple communal bunkhouses, before getting up at 4.30am to start again.

The walk culminated in a climb of 1,200 near-vertical, ancient stone steps.

Many of the intrepid trekkers reunited on Tuesday, June 4, at the White Hart Hotel in Salisbury to celebrate the grand total raised through their efforts for the Stars Appeal, Salisbury Hospital’s Charity.

Salisbury Hospital Eye Consultant Dr Rashi Arora, who took part in the trek and is also a Stars Appeal Hospital Ambassador, said: “This was a group of ordinary people who became extraordinary together.

“The trek was tough, you cannot deny that. We are people from everyday walks of life. I’m not a professional trekker, but the group made me feel like one.”

In total, the trekkers hiked more than 50 miles and ascended over 3,400m – more than the combined height of the UK’s highest mountains, Ben Nevis, Snowden, and Scafell Pike.

“When I saw them so passionate, not just about the trek, but about the hospital and the Stars Appeal, it made me feel very humbled,” Dr Arora added.

“It reminded me of the reasons why I became a doctor and renewed my sense of purpose.

“The Stars Appeal funds a lot of equipment in the Eye Clinic, which helps us provide the best care for our patients.”

The Stars Appeal trekkers at the Lost City in Columbia

The Stars Appeal trekkers at the Lost City in Columbia

During the celebration evening, the charity’s president, the Earl of Pembroke, gave his thanks to the trekkers and to everyone who has supported them in their efforts.

Staff from the hospital, who volunteer as Stars Appeal Ambassadors, also spoke of the difference funds raised for the charity make to patients across the hospital.

Money raised by the trekkers will help the Stars Appeal provide extra care and equipment across Salisbury District Hospital.

Among projects the charity is currently fundraising for are high definition videoscopes for diagnosing head and neck cancer, ‘By Your Side’ sleeper chairs for those staying alongside loved ones in hospital and ongoing work such as the Stars Appeal WiFi, hospital chaplaincy, cancer support and the Stars Appeal Play Assistant on Sarum Children’s Ward.

READ MORE: Stars Trekkers set for Columbia walk in aid of hospital charity

The funds raised through the Lost City Trek and from previous Stars Appeal treks to Petra, the Grand Canyon, Machu Picchu in Peru, and the Great Wall of China, now give a five-trek total of more than £486,866.

Jayne Prigent, who has completed five treks for the Stars Appeal, said: “When we first suggested trekking for the Stars Appeal 10 years ago, we could never have anticipated that they’d be such a success, or that they could have raised so much.”

The Stars Appeal is already planning its next trek adventure and the destination will be revealed later in the year.

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