A group of 18 volunteers for a Worcester Park charity have returned home after completing a trek in ‘punishing’ Peruvian heights before ending up at Machu Picchu.

One of the four days involved the St Raphael’s Hopsice team travelling seven hours up and over a mountain, reaching 4,200m, before they faced ‘very cold and wet’ conditions.

All did it for various personal reasons but came together in order to raise money for the charity, with funds now having reached over £50,000.

Emily Nicholls, who did it in memory of her nan who died at the hospice in 2012, said: “I know what a huge difference the funds raised will make to so many more people in our local area. It’s amazing what this group have achieved for St Raphael’s.

“It’s been amazing to see the team get to know each other and work so hard over the past year to train and fundraise for this challenge. It’s also been fantastic to see their progress and I was honoured to join them on this tough trek.”

St Raphael’s team spent four days in total pursuing the Lares Trail in Peru before ending up in Machu Picchu.

The charity’s community fundraising manager said several team members had altitude sickness, increasing the trip’s difficulty, however they managed to achieve their aims whilst having an ‘unbelievable personal experience’.

They began acclimatising to the temperatures and high altitude in the city of Cuzco, reached the Inca Temples and then to some hot springs, before getting to an ‘astonishing’ mountain pass at 4,600m.

So far, a total of £51,480 has been raised – St Raphael’s Hospice, based in London Road, say could pay two full-time nurses for one year.

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