19 islanders trekked through the Julien Alps in Slovenia last month to raise awareness and funds for Jersey Cheshire Home, who provide residential care for adults suffering with severe physical disabilities.
The four day trek which got underway on 19th September passed over rugged scree, up dramatic peaks, through alpine meadows and down to stunning glacial lakes made it the experience of a lifetime for many of the group.
Each day the mountains brought new experiences and challenges to the group, Louise Thomas explained “Slovenia really is a beautiful country, the magnificent sunrises that greeted us as we emerged from our remote mountain huts each morning couldn’t fail to set us up for the tough days trekking that we knew lay ahead. No one was exaggerating when they said it would be steep!”
Mount Krn, an impressive peak that rises dramatically to 2245m above the lush Soča River valley and gorge, was conquered on the final day. It was the steepest and most strenuous hike of the trip and the group spent some extremely challenging hours ascending towards the summit – doing their best not to notice the sheer drops and for a time fighting against torrential rainfall, but once at the top the stunning panoramic views that stretched as far as the Dolomites in Italy and the Austrian Alps were worth the struggle!
Brian McCarthy summed up the trek, saying “The harsh Alpine terrain brought with it some really physically and mentally demanding conditions, but this only made for a closer-knit group – we had to lean on each other to get through the tough parts and as a result we all made strong friendships and had a lot of fun too! How on earth a tiger print onesy came to be modelled by Dave Tupper over dinner one night I’ve no idea, but it certainly made for an entertaining evening! I would encourage anyone thinking about doing a trek for Jersey Cheshire Home to give it a go – it has changed my outlook on life!”
Even one of the more seasoned trekkers who has previously taken on the perils of Kerela, Iceland and Peru explained that this year’s trek was no less impressive or challenging. Antionette Craig who is now on her 4th trek for the Home said, “This trek was simply spectacular and it certainly ticked the ‘challenge’ box! Climbing, climbing, climbing – it was literally all we did! I mean I knew what I’d signed up for but these were some of the steepest assents and descents I have ever experienced. There were some minor injuries amongst the group, but thankfully we all made it back in one piece, if a little sore!”
The fundraising efforts that each of the team initiated in the run up to the trek were remarkable and have already raised an impressive £35,000 with funds still coming in. The money making events ranged from quizzes and raffles, to a cheese and wine evening at Relish, a Motown night at the Yacht Club and even Yoga classes!
The trip was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by all that took part. Their commitment not only helped to spread awareness of the important work done by Jersey Cheshire Home but also raised funds to enhance the lives of their disabled residents and day care users.
Staff and residents of Jersey Cheshire Home would like to express their sincere gratitude for the dedication and enthusiasm shown by every single one of the trekkers in helping them to reach their fundraising target.
If you’d like to take part in one of Jersey Cheshire Home’s international challenges then subscribe to their quarterly e-newsletters to keep up to date with plans for the next trip http://www.jerseycheshirehome.je/newsletter/
The 19 islanders that took part in the Jersey Cheshire Home 2015 Trek Slovenia were: Billi-Jean Brown, Paul Bulstrode, Michelle Clark, Paul Coundley, Antoinette Craig, Oliver Franckel, Simon Franckel, Jim Hopley, Gloria Jenkins, Richard Le Quelenec, Darren Le Quelenec, Sean Le Scelleur, Jack McCarthy, Brian McCarthy, Vycki-Jo Price, Rachael Hopley, Hannah Shellswell, Louise Thomas and David Tupper.