Sunday 8 April sees the start of the inaugural Noah’s Ark Husky Trail Challenge. A group of ten intrepid adventurers – made up of fundraisers, a trustee, staff, a family member who previously received Noah’s Ark care services, and two supporters from our build partners 8build – will be embarking on this experience of a lifetime in Norway.

Nikki Gowlett is the Fundraising Events Manager at Noah’s Ark and this is her first challenge for the charity. This is how her preparations are going…

Nikki preparing for the Husky Trail“This Sunday, I will be joining ten other explorers to take part in a very unique challenge – spending six days driving our own team of spirited huskies 250km through the rolling highlands and deep forests of Lapland. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime challenge where we will have the opportunity to leave civilisation far behind, wild camping in untouched nature.

After sledding between 30-75km during the day, each evening we will be required to erect our own tents, cook for ourselves and look after our trusty husky companions. It’s safe to say I am very excited to be taking part – if a tiny bit nervous!

With such wilderness, freezing temperature and snowy terrain, there inevitably comes a very long and detailed kit list in order to survive and be comfortable. For the last few days I have been attempting to gather everything together and pack thermals – with temperatures potentially dropping to -20C at night and no toilet or shower facilities on the trail – as well as dry shampoo and spare toilet roll (just in case!).

Husky Trail packing listGetting all the kit and equipment together that I’ll need to take got me thinking about the families Noah’s Ark supports, and particularly an article I read recently written by Brandon – one of the young people we support. He wrote about going on a cruise with his mum and, although they had an amazing time in the US, he highlighted some of the additional preparation needed when travelling with additional needs.

Many of our children we support have specific dietary requirements, are in wheelchairs and require breathing equipment, and have complex medical needs so even an everyday event that most people take for granted needs meticulous planning. This is where our amazing specialist carers and home support volunteers can come in to play. They help families make day-to-day activities that little bit easier and more manageable – providing an extra pair of hands to carry shopping bags, push wheelchairs and equipment, and assist wherever needed.

So, when I’m struggling to fit everything into my backpack this weekend, I’ll remember the additional planning that our families have to go through every day and hope that by raising awareness and funds from this very unique challenge, we can continue to help more families with their own everyday challenges and make every precious moment count.”

If you can, please donate and help us provide more care and support to seriously ill babies and children or find out more about the Challenge Events you can join and create your own precious moments.

Follow Nikki on Twitter for updates from her adventure next week – @nikki_noahsark