After completing a week-long trek in Asia, a North Shields resident has now raised £5,000 for a good cause.
Every penny that Lynsey Butler receives from people making a donation will go to Maggie’s, based in the grounds of the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, which provides anyone with cancer and their family and friends with emotional, practical and social support.
She recently took part in the Britain v Cancer Cambodia Trek – organised by Dream Challenges – in memory of her father-in-law, Patrick Butler. He suffered from prostate cancer and died in August 2017.
This and the fund-raising activities beforehand, including a Maggie’s March of 90 miles over four days from Cumbria to North Shields Fish Quay, helped her as she has had to deal with “many physical and mental challenges during the 13 months since I signed up”.
She added: “In June this year, I was diagnosed with severe depression, however, the right people and services were there for me when I needed the support the most.
“This has been a very personal journey, but I’m overjoyed at the inspiration and positive impact my story has generated.
“I have raised £5,000 for Maggie’s and I still have my tandem skydive to do with five friends on February 15, 2019, weather permitting, so I’m hoping we can raise even more.
“I’d like to say a massive thank you to my friends, family and all the businesses who have supported me and I would like to raise awareness of how people can get mental health support – for example, on the Active North Tyneside website.
“It was really difficult to leave my children (Patrick, seven, and Daisy, four) for so long, But they were both very supportive and understanding, knowing I was doing this in memory of their granddad and for Maggie’s.”
Lynsey was one of 30 people taking part in this trek. They travelled through the countryside, rice fields and jungle and visited temples such as Ta Prohm where scenes for the 2001 movie Tomb Raider were filmed.
She said: “The people of Cambodia were extremely welcoming and appreciated us being there, and our tour guides – Vannen and Dori – were very helpful and friendly.
“I was very fortunate to be supported by an outdoor clothing company, Keela, which provided me with the majority of my kit. This was a huge help as the clothes saw me through the miles and no blisters at the end.
“We finished our trek through the Angkor National Park to arrive at Angkor Wat, one of the largest religious monuments in the world. It was breathtakingly beautiful and I was overwhelmed to reach the end of our journey.”
The people taking part in the trek visited a remote school near the Kulen mountain and Lynsey personally also visited a city school in Siem Reap, named Jimmy’s School, which offers additional English lessons in the evening to help improve their students’ opportunities for work and a better life.
She said: “At both schools, the children’s behaviour was impeccable and they received donated stationery such as pens, pencils, textbooks and pencil cases.
“My children’s school, King Edward Primary School in North Shields, and parents of pupils gave such items generously and the children in Cambodia were overjoyed with their goodies.
“I took a ride on a tuk tuk to get to Jimmy’s School, which was an experience I’ll never forget.”
To make a donation online, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lynsey-butler1