A daring Huddersfield community psychiatric nurse (CPN) has raised over £3000 in spectacular style by taking on the gruelling challenge of trekking 90km through the Peruvian Andes.
Rita Hinchcliffe, who works in Huddersfield as a CPN for the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust, spent five days completing the demanding expedition to raise money for mental health charity, Mind.
The route through the Peruvian Andes reached heights of 4200m and took in stunning scenery of snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes and the breathtaking Urubamba River (a direct tributary of the Amazon).
Rita explained that she took on the challenge to give something back to mental health. ‘Completing the Peru Trek has enabled me to raise awareness about mental health problems and raise money for Mind. I felt that it was important to put something back into mental health and this seemed like the ideal way.’
‘It was the experience of a lifetime but extremely challenging,’ Rita continued, ‘The views and the scenery were stunning and I’ve taken with me many memorable experiences like having the opportunity to camp amongst such an amazing backdrop.’
43 other people from across the UK joined Rita on the trek organised by Mind, many of whom have had some connection with mental illness, either through work or the experiences of friends and family. ‘I made many new friends on the trip, there were people there of all different ages and backgrounds,’ explained Rita.
‘Everybody was extremely supportive – we helped each other get through the harder times and it was great to share the experience with them. The group as a whole have raised over £70,000 for Mind, which is a great achievement.
‘I’d like to say a big thank you to all of my friends, family and colleagues who supported my fundraising efforts and helped me raise so much money.’