Carolyn Aitchison’s Trek to the pole

I took part in an expedition to commemorate the centenary of Ernest Shackleton’s attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole. He turned back 180 km from the Pole and so we planned to complete the journey.

We were a group of ten, most raising funds for local charities, as a trustee of the Big Issue I felt this was a great opportunity to help raise money and awareness for a very deserving cause.

I created a page on Just Giving and emailed it to my entire address book. I was surprised by who gave and how much. The Big Issue Foundation was clearly a cause close to many people’s hearts. Other than a couple of cheques in the post, it was very straightforward and took very little time.  I raised over £5,000, with the largest donation from an elderly aunt – online!

Training for the trip entailed back to back classes in the gym and pulling 2 tractor tyres round Hyde Park which certainly drew some looks. We made it to the South Pole, pulling sledges and camping each night. It was very cold (-45 C at the Pole) and windy (a tent is tricky in 50mph winds) but an amazing experience. In the tougher moments it certainly helped all of us to think of the causes we were supporting. Some of the group got frost bite but I had more of a problem with the altitude. Definitely a once in a life time experience!

Carolyn Aitchison

Posted in Staff, Volunteers.

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