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With a hop, skip and a jump, a local supporter signs up for the Sahara Challenge

Sue Hayes, 69 from Gateshead, has signed up for one of our Platinum Life List challenges, the Sahara Trek. We caught up with Sue to find out why she signed up to take part in such an epic challenge.

I may be 69 but that’s not going to stop me from living my life. As my husband always said ‘you need to keep going, keep doing what you’ve always done and your body will keep up.’


We’re an active family, so it’s good to have a challenge to keep me going. Last year I did the Great North Run with my two daughters and a Skydive for St Oswald’s too, so I needed something new to sign up to for 2018.


The Sahara Trek looks incredible, I’ll be 70 when I complete the Trek so I don’t know what I’ve got myself into, but I’m so excited to meet new people, make new friends and complete such an amazing challenge, and I get to do it for such a incredible charity that’s so close to my heart.

The Sahara Trek is a once in a lifetime experience, but how do you train for such a unique challenge? Sue gave us a few tips on how she got started.

I suppose my ‘training’ is more about keeping myself fit. I go to the gym a few times a week and I try to get out running when the weather is nice – oh and I try to do a park run when I can. I’m getting older so I need to keep my body going, there’s no excuse.


I do have to be careful though, with the weather at the moment it can be dangerous. I can’t afford an injury at this age because it does take a lot longer to heal, so I just have to be careful but also to keep going.


I think you’ve got to stay positive, my husband Ted had a great outlook on life and I definitely got my positive attitude from him. St Oswald’s were wonderful with him, he sadly passed here after spending 6 weeks on the inpatient ward but the end of his life was made as comfortable as possible.


Ted was a man of action, he was always up and about doing something, so it was hard when he was diagnosed with cancer and had to take a step back. However, working with the physiotherapy team at the Hospice really helped, he was so lucky to get a place here, the whole of the St Oswald’s team are incredible. I’m very happy to raise as much money as possible for the Hospice, definitely my charity of choice.


I am forever grateful to the Hospice for the care my husband received here, I look forward to raising as much money as I possibly can to help out. Completing the Life List challenges are just an added bonus as I’m so excited to try something new and meet new people. After a horrible 2016, you made it manageable and I can’t thank St Oswald’s enough.

Our Life List challenges are a way for people to tick something off their bucket list. We make it easier by planning and organising each challenge so all you have to do is turn up and raise some funds beforehand. Our Fundraising Team is on hand every step of the way to help you raise the sponsorship money for each challenge.

Check out our Life List page on our website or get in touch to find out what challenges we have on offer this year. Call us on 0191 246 9123 or email us at fundraising@stoswaldsuk.org