Children’s hospice sets Cambodia challenge

Caroline McCullough and Louise Borton in China
Caroline McCullough and Louise Borton in China

CHESTNUT Tree House children’s hospice is looking for an exclusive team for its 2017 Cambodia Challenge.

The 85km trek through rice fields and jungles follows the successful 2015 Chestnut China Challenge, which raised thousands of pounds for the hospice, near Arundel.

Two nurses who took part last year have spoken of their experiences, the challenges involved and the camaraderie shared.

Caroline McCullough, 51, from Yapton, is clinical nurse manager at Chestnut Tree House and Louise Borton, 32, from Emsworth, is a staff nurse.

Having worked at the hospice since it opened 12½ years ago, Caroline did not hesitate to take part in the 2015 China Challenge to raise funds and awareness.

“Working with the children and families at the house on a daily basis, I see the struggles they face and it is humbling to provide the care, support and respite that we are able to,” she explained.

“The China Challenge was a very special experience for me. I was able to share with the other trekkers what life is like at the house for the children we care for – that we have a lot of fun and make such a difference to their lives, no matter how short.

“We took time during the trek to remember the children and why we were out in China raising much needed funds, which was both an emotional and uplifting moment.

“There were plenty of emotional highs and lows along the way, but the best thing about the trip was the support and camaraderie amongst the group.”

Louise, who has completed six years at the hospice, said: “I love my job at Chestnut Tree House because no two days are ever the same. Over the years, I have been privileged to care for and get to know so many brave and lovely children and families.

“It was a real honour to complete the China Challenge and raise both money and awareness to support the all the services we provide, not just at the house but in families’ own homes across Sussex and south east Hampshire.”

Chestnut’s Cambodia Trek will starting in Siem Reap. The adventurers will hike up the Kulan Mountain and through rice fields and jungles to reach the walled city of Angkor Thom and the spectacular Bayon, in the heart of the city.

Journeying through the heart of old Indochina will be hot and dusty but the area has a rich history and beautiful scenery, making the hard work worth it.

Trip highlights include fantastic views of Phnom Kulen, lively local markets, a chance to admire the ornate carvings in the River of 1000 Lingas and travel in colourful tuk tuks to the walled city of Angkor Thom.

The trek will take place from Saturday, November 11, 2017, to Sunday, November 19, 2017, and the registration fee is £299.

The challenge is to raise enough money to pay for all 24-hour care services, for the entire duration of the trip, which amounts to £61,650.

Visit or call 01903 706354 to speak to the events team.

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