Help save a life by stepping into the Sahara

PUBLISHED: 14:51 26 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:51 26 September 2019

The trek is organised by Different Travel on behalf of Essex & Herts Air Ambulance. Photo credit: Different Travel

The trek is organised by Different Travel on behalf of Essex & Herts Air Ambulance. Photo credit: Different Travel

Archant

Have you always wanted to camp under the stars of the Sahara or admire the beauty of Marrakech? What if you could do just that and support a life-saving charity at the same time?

The generosity and goodwill of people and businesses allows EHAAT to continue saving lives. Photo credit: Essex & Herts Air AmbulanceThe generosity and goodwill of people and businesses allows EHAAT to continue saving lives. Photo credit: Essex & Herts Air Ambulance

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) is a charity that provides a pre-hospital Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for critically ill and injured people in Essex, Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas.

In November 2020 they will be taking a group of trekkers to the Sahara for the experience of a lifetime, and they would be delighted if you could join them. Fundraising manager, Natasha Robertson, told us more.

In July of this year, EHAAT saved 23-month-old, Charlotte Smith after she started choking at nursery and was unable to breathe. Photo credit: Essex & Herts Air AmbulanceIn July of this year, EHAAT saved 23-month-old, Charlotte Smith after she started choking at nursery and was unable to breathe. Photo credit: Essex & Herts Air Ambulance

Enjoy a four day trek with stunning surroundings

The trek starts on November 5 and totals approximately 50km. You'll fly to Marrakech, where you will be met by your guide and transported to your hotel for the night. The following day you will be driven through the Atlas Mountains to the desert, passing through snow-capped peaks and valleys and following ancient caravan routes, stopping for lunch in Ouarzazate on the way. Once in the desert, you will be welcomed by the rest of the trek team and the camels before commencing the trek into the Sahara desert, stopping overnight to camp under the stars.

Natasha said: "This trek is an opportunity to witness some of the world's most incredible landscapes while making memories and friendships that will last forever. Travelling through the world's largest desert, you'll see how the nomadic Berber people live, enjoy traditional cuisine and experience the beauty of the night sky away from light pollution. After the trek you'll have some free time to explore the exotic city of Marrakech before returning to the UK."

We also spoke to EHAAT's head of fundraising, Jon Rodriguez. He told us: "Our overseas treks are a really popular way of raising funds for the charity. Over the last few years we have been to some memorable destinations such as Peru, Iceland, The Grand Canyon, Italy, Nepal, Cambodia, Slovenia and Tanzania. Like previous treks, Sahara 2020 offers the chance to experience an incredible part of the world with like-minded individuals, keen to support an incredible cause."

Early bird offer

If you sign up by November 15 2019, you'll qualify for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance's early bird offer. This means your ticket will cost £250 instead of £299. Your ticket includes your flight and travel and accommodation costs when in Morocco. Taking part requires a minimum fundraising target of £2,020. Natasha said: "Our charity staff are experienced and brilliant at what they do. Their support, advice and tips will help you get on your way to reaching your target in no time."

Take the first step towards this amazing experience by visiting ehaat.org/trek for full details of what's involved and to get your free information pack. You can also call the Fundraising Team on 0345 504 0055 or email trek@ehaat.org.

EHAAT is holding an information evening on November 13 from 7pm-9pm at Hangar 7, North Weald Airfield. To book your place call 0345 504 0055.

Your support enables EHAAT to continue saving lives

The work Essex & Herts Air Ambulance does is incredibly important, and the generosity and goodwill of people and businesses of Essex, Hertfordshire and beyond allows them to continue. Natasha said: "The service is provided free of charge but, unlike NHS emergency services, the charity receives no direct funding from the government or National Lottery."

In July of this year, EHAAT saved 23-month-old, Charlotte Smith, after she started choking at nursery and was unable to breathe. Charlotte's parents, who also have a five-year-old son called Milo, have now set up a JustGiving page to raise money for EHAAT and thank them for saving their daughter's life.

Charlotte's father said: "We are so grateful for what the emergency services did, but particularly the air ambulance because they're almost exclusively charity-funded. We're massively relieved - it was a scary experience."

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