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Hedges Law director's Moroccan Desert Trek raises over £6k for grief support charity SeeSaw

The Business Magazine article image for: Hedges Law director's Moroccan Desert Trek raises over £6k for grief support charity SeeSaw
5 December 2022

The director of culture and innovation at Oxfordshire law firm Hedges Law has successfully completed a challenging trek across the Moroccan Sahara desert in aid of Oxfordshire children’s grief support charity SeeSaw, raising nearly £6,800 along the way.

Nicola Poole, together with her husband Wayne trekked 50km over six days across the Moroccan Sahara, in dry, 34°C temperatures, with little washing or toilet facilities.

At night, Nicola slept under the stars as temperatures dropped close to zero and the camels waking them with their ‘snorting’.

Over the course of the trek, Nicola and Wayne had to overcome a series of challenging terrains, predominantly made up of steep sand-dunes as well as dried-up river beds, stony outcrops and dense desert woodland.

The trek is the latest in a series of bold fundraising efforts by the law firm, in support of its chosen charity of the year, SeeSaw. It follows a recent skydive, undertaken by Head of Business Development, Rebecca Kashti and Trainee Solicitor, James Overton, which raised over £2,000 alone.

Nicole said: “Morocco is such a beautiful country, seeing it in the way we have was incredibly special; genuinely a once in a lifetime experience. The trek took its toll on our bodies, having to endure limited sleep and with nowhere to properly wash ourselves. I had to steel myself for the full 'baby wipe' experience, but the hole in the ground toilet experience really isn't one I would care to repeat!

“The sticky red sand got absolutely everywhere, and in the confines of a walking boot, became something akin to sandpaper. My feet are a bit of a mess, but I figure that a bit of chafing and blistering was always going to be on the cards. It was all worth it to support such an important charity, SeeSaw.

“SeeSaw has particular importance to me, having lost my birth mother at just eight months old. I am hoping the monies raised will help them continue their important work, helping to support families going through similar circumstances that I experienced early in my life.

"I can’t think of a better cause to support. Thanks must go to everyone who donated to my fundraising goal, which is now nearly £6,000. It certainly inspired us along the way.”

SeeSaw provides essential grief support to children, young people and their families anywhere in Oxfordshire, before and after a death; whether a death is sudden or expected, due to illness or accident, or for some other reason. SeeSaw believes that with appropriate and timely support, bereaved young people will be able to face the future with hope and fulfil their potential despite a devastating loss.

Clare Mather Allkins, Fundraising Manager said: “Congratulations must go to Nicola on completing such a challenging trek. We are extremely grateful that she chose to raise money for SeeSaw, and for our charity being Hedges Law’s chosen charity of the year.

“From research we know there are around 2,250 children bereaved of a parent or sibling at some point in their childhood in the Oxfordshire area, but thanks to our team of dedicated supporters, we’re able to help reduce the emotional and, psychological consequences of grief, so that young people are able to face the future with hope.”

Outside of her commitment to fundraising, Nicola is an ambassador for Women Supporting Women, a Prince’s Trust Initiative, that helps young women achieve their ambitions, overcome obstacles, and reach their potential. On top of this, Nicola also sits on the board for Experience Oxfordshire.

Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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