Sussex man with learning disabilities to take part in charity trek to Iceland

A Sussex man with learning disabilities is gearing up to travel to Iceland as part of a fundraising bid for Hft, a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities.

Mark, who is supported by Hft, will be part of a team of five from the Hft Sussex service in Walberton, including three support workers and a volunteer. Setting off on July 12 this year, the intrepid adventurers are looking forward to five days of trekking around 150 miles across lava and snow fields, camping under the stars and taking a dip in the famous hot springs.

When service manager Paul heard that Hft were planning an Iceland trek as a fundraising activity, he immediately thought of Mark.

“Visiting Iceland is a lifelong dream of Mark’s, so this is the perfect opportunity for us to help him to fulfil his goal and raise some funds for the service as well,” he explained.

For volunteer David, who also has mild learning disabilities, it will also be the first time he has ever been away without his family.

The money raised by the group will help to create an inclusive community allotment at the Hft Sussex orchard site, which aims to help people with learning disabilities develop skills and confidence through gardening, and foster an interest in food and healthy eating.

Mark and his team are already well underway with preparations. He and support worker Lynn have been trying out Nordic walking, and all five work out at the gym together once a week. So far they have raised £1,700, but there’s still a way before they hit the £12,000 needed to help Mark fulfil his dream.

Charlotte Rue, Hft’s Sporting and Challenge Events Manager, is delighted by the group’s motivation and team spirit.

“At Hft we offer people the kind of help, support and encouragement that gives them the chance to find more enjoyment, comfort and satisfaction in life,” she said. “Mark’s team are really living those values: they’re giving their time and energy to enable someone we support to take on a challenge that otherwise might not be an option for him.”

“The Iceland trek is just one of the many exciting events that Hft is running this year. We would love to hear from anyone who may be interested in joining Team Hft and helping us support people with learning disabilities to live the best life possible.”

If you would like to sponsor the team, go to www.doitforcharity.com/PAUL37.

For more information about Hft fundraising activities, call Hft’s Challenges team on 07769282309 or email community@hft.org.uk.

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