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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Cumbrian women join team embarking on overseas hospice mission

Two women whose dads were cared for by the Eden Valley Hospice are among a team preparing to trek across the deserts of Jordan to raise money.

Hospice walk women photo
Joanna Turnbull, left and Pamela Mooney

Joanna Turnbull, of Carlisle, signed up in memory of her father Don Hoggarth, who died at the hospice in May 2010, while Pamela Mooney, of Crosby-on-Eden, will be taking part in memory of her father, Dennis Glendinning, who died in December last year, again at the hospice.

They are part of a team that will embark on the fundraiser – the first overseas challenge organised by the Carlisle hospice – next October.

Joanna said: “The hospice was invaluable in those last weeks of his life, not only the care of dad but the care of my mum, brother and I. The hospice enabled us to stay the night with my dad and one day we even brought in the dog. I really don’t think we could have coped without the support of the hospice and the fantastic staff that work there day after day.”

Pamela added: “The challenge is an opportunity for me, and my family, to say thank you to the staff for the specialist care my dad received, and also for the support they provided to us in the final hours of his life.”

For six nights the women will sleep under the stars in Bedouin camps as they cross the remote deserts of Jordan from Dana to the ‘Lost City’ of Petra.

Joanna said it will be a fitting tribute to her father. “He was a very keen walker and loved the great outdoors, spending most weekends in the Lake District walking and climbing.

“He also completed the Three Peaks, The Cullins in Skye, and walked most of the Wainwright Walks just to mention a few. In the months before he passed away he was unable to walk,” she said.

“His last was in November 2009 where he climbed Great Gable to attend the Remembrance Sunday service, which was an annual event for him.”

And Pamela said the challenge will also have special meaning to her.

“The Middle East has been a significant influence in my family’s life,” she explained.

“My dad spent many years there, firstly in the 1960s as a young soldier with the Kings Own Scottish Border Regiment touring Oman, Aden and Sharjah.

“In 1975 he returned to the Emirates to work for Stevin Rock, a Dutch quarrying company.

“On completion of his contract in 1981 he followed his family back to Carlisle, deciding instead of flying to drive our family’s ageing Toyota Corolla back to Carlisle. His road trip took him from Ras Al Khaimah, through Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, the former Yugoslavia, Croatia, Turkey and Europe, arriving in Carlisle three weeks later.”

It will also provide the women with their own personal, physical challenge. Joanna said: “I did not take after my dad, who tried on numerous occasions to get me up and out walking with him on a Sunday so signing up for this challenge is the biggest thing I will ever undertake in my 41 years. In May this year I decided enough was enough. I set a goal to lose weight, get fitter and feel better. I have to date lost 30lb.”

She is now training heavily and hopes to raise at least £2,000 for the hospice. Her 12-year-old daughter Pheobe will also be completing a fell walk to raise extra funds.

Meanwhile, Pamela is not sure how she’ll cope without her creature comforts.

“Jordan will be six days of trekking across a barren desert in sweltering heat therefore I’m just a little apprehensive about six days of back to basics without my en suite shower,” she said.

Pamela is also aiming for a target of £2,000 and will be holding various fundraisers between now and next October to boost her total.

To support the women visit www.justgiving.com/joanne-tudor or www.justgiving.com/Pamela-Mooney.

The Eden Valley Hospice still has places left in its Jordan trek team.

The challenge starts on Sunday, October 19. For more information call 01228 817613 or visit www.evhospice.org.uk/jordan.



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