A DUO’s unforgettable five-day trek to China has raised a staggering £18,000 for two charities.
Chelsea Harman, 25, and Melanie Peters, 39, walked around 92,000 steps of the Great Wall of China in the ‘life-changing’ challenge, in aid of Baby Buddy and Love Your Hospital.
The money raised will be split between the two, with Love Your Hospital’s share to be spent on Worthing Hospital’s baby unit.
Melanie said: “It was a very spiritual, beautiful and emotional place.
“It was an amazing trip but it was really hard and we were with a brilliant and courageous group.”
The duo spent nine days in China, with five days of trekking across various stretches of the Great Wall, for up to ten hours a day.
They travelled with seven others from Worthing, while guide Terri originated from Ferring.
Chelsea said: “It doesn’t feel real when you are there. It’s a beautiful backdrop.
“It changed my life. I never understood about people finding themselves while travelling but we both got so much out of the trip.”
The days would generally start with a 6.30am wake-up call, before hours of walking.
Some sections of the wall are in a state of ruin, which left the group having to take detours through forests to get back on track.
Chelsea and Melanie said they never expected to raise so much, with an initial target of around £2,000.
But donations quickly came in and the target kept rising.
Melanie said: “I don’t think we realised how hard it was to raise money.
“We can’t thank everybody enough. It’s going to make such a difference to both the charities, which are close to our hearts.
“We are both really proud of ourselves as everyone laughed at us when we said we were going to do it because they didn’t think we would be able to.”
Not content with finishing the one challenge, Chelsea is planning a Himalayas trek next year for Baby Buddy.
The money raised will go towards the purchase of a static caravan, which will be used for respite breaks for families with disabled children.