A Sales Executive at Bristol Street Motors Derby SEAT has taken on his biggest charity challenge to date – a trek through the Himalayas.
Joe Sharland, 36, likes to get involved in a fundraising event for a worthy cause every few years and since 2011 has raised nearly £10,500 for charity.
During the first lockdown of 2020, Joe began to plan his biggest challenge yet, which also was one of the items on his bucket list – a gruelling 170-mile trek through the Himalayan Mountains to Everest base camp.
Due to the Covid pandemic, it has taken longer to become a reality, but now it has been all systems go with Joe completing the demanding journey to raise nearly £2,500 for Children with Cancer UK.
From Kathmandu, he boarded a small plane to Lukla and from there, Joe took 12 days to walk through the Himalayan Mountains, reaching an altitude of 5,500 metres.
Joe said: “It was the challenge and a trip of a lifetime. It was a hard and tough trek that really tested me both mentally and physically. But the feeling of elation and satisfaction on completing it was out of this world.
“In addition, it was great to raise an amazing amount for such a fantastic cause.
“I cannot thank people enough for their support and generosity, including the Bristol Street Motors SEAT dealership where I work.”
The Locomotive Way dealership has sponsored Joe by contributing £150 to his fundraising.
Robert Forrester, Chief Executive of Bristol Street Motors, said: “What Joe has achieved is incredible on two levels – completing such a physically difficult journey and raising a commendable amount for a worthy charity.
“He also is to be applauded for how much training, preparation and hard work he put into organising and being at peak fitness for this trip of a lifetime. Well done, Joe!”
Before his latest charitable adventure, Joe has raised £8,000 for charities since 2011, including:
- A Sky Dive for Macmillan Cancer Support
- The London Marathon for Save the Rhino
- The Prudential Ride London, cycling 100 miles and donating 15 inches of his hair – both in aid of Little Princess Trust
Joe said: “Trekking through the Himalayas to Everest base camp was an incredible experience from start to finish.
“Starting off relatively easy and progressively getting harder; the altitude and lack of oxygen made things difficult, especially 4500 metres above sea level. You cannot train for that feeling and it affects everyone slightly differently. Quite literally, I could get out of breath walking up one flight of stairs. The sleep deprivation also adds to the challenge. I don't sleep well at the best of times, but things are enhanced out there due to the cold and uncomfortable conditions.
“The views though were nothing short of incredible. The magnitude of the Himalayas is tough to describe. Everywhere you look there are off-the-scale huge mountains.”
Joe added: “I have done several different challenges for charity. During lockdown I decided I wanted to do something bigger, so started planning the trip of a lifetime. It turned out to be the amazing, but physically and mentally demanding, experience I thought it would be.”
Joe even took a Bristol Street Motors flag with him and tied it to an area with lots of different banners, so it remains at Base Camp.
Children with Cancer UK raises and invests money for vital specialist research, with the aim of saving the life of every child with cancer and keeping their family together. Its vision is ‘a world where every child diagnosed with cancer gets to ring their end of cancer treatment bell’.
To learn more about Joe’s fundraising and to donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joey-sharland1