Harrogate mums complete Sahara trek

Harrogate mums complete Sahara trek

Published at 5:58pm 19th February 2018. (Updated at 8:43am 27th February 2018)

Six mums from Harrogate have completed the challenge of trekking across the Sahara desert!

Michelle, Lucy, Louise, Paula, Jo and Anne, are known as the Sahara 6, completed their 4-day mission on Monday 19th February, 2018. 

Sahara 6 make their way to the desert

The group left their homes, families and friends, to take on sandstorms, reptiles and the hot desert sun last week.

They've set themselves this mission, to raise awareness of mental health and are supporting Harrogate's Wellspring along the way.

They secured sponsors so that the group could have a number of camels alongside them, to help carry their luggage for the trek. 

	 Sahara 6 complete 4 day trek and show sponsors

Sponsors include Studio One, The Brain Collective, CNG, Harrogate Interiors, Artemis, Brooks. The group have also had contributions from Will and Vics, Albivio and Slingbys Gin. Sahara 6 want to thank the local community for their support. 

Sahara 6 in the desert with another group

	 Camel in Sahara desert

	 Snow on mountains in Sahara

Paula Conroy spoke to Stray FM about the experience:

"We're back! We're excited to have raised so much money and it keeps coming in which is fantastic because it's for Wellspring, which is a local charity in Harrogate. Noticeably though we have raised a lot of awareness for mental health too. We've had quite a lot of comments from people personally thanking us for doing this and it's just nice to get those sorts of messages through."

The group all had their mobile phones switched off for the majority of the time in the desert, meaning they didn't have any day-to-day contact with people they usually would. 

"You realise how emotional it is not to be with family and not to have day-today contact with people and for us that's what we are raising the awareness of. 

"People who struggle with mental health often hide themselves away from people, they don't want to be contacted - but how lonely and vulnerable you feel. 

"For us, arriving at the hotel at the end and having loads of messages of well wishes, people who care and have missed us, it made us think that what if we didn't have that and what if you never get that contact with people?

"I think that's the whole thing about mental health, the isolation and shame they feel about asking for help. Mental health is huge and we wanted to bring it to the forefront and show that it's okay to ask for help."

As the Sahara 6 arrived home, Paula put together this in light of her recent experience:

After allowing the dust to settle, the sand to be brushed and washed away, thoughts really start to sink in of what a journey it was.

Mental health affects so many people it has no preference of your class, age, gender or culture.

I truly regard myself as an incredibly lucky person. On the Trek I was surrounded by some of the most caring and considerate people I’ve met but that sense of homesickness and feeling lonely or vulnerable still crept in!

Now I’ve had time to think... what if that’s how I felt every day... what if that sense or paranoia, loneliness and vulnerability was a daily occurrence?

For me receiving my messages at the end from friends and family was so over whelming! Yet again what if I hadn’t had messages after days of feeling vulnerable?

In doing this Trek we not only raised money we hopefully raised awareness too about mental health.

So many people suffer and are too scared to ask for help or call on someone for support.

So maybe it’s up to us to send that message or make that call to someone we’ve not heard from.

If they pop into your head maybe there’s a reason for that. 

The four things you can’t get back;

The stone after it’s thrown.

The word after it’s said.

The occasion after it’s missed.

Time after it’s gone.

 #mentalhealth #bekind #bekindtoyourself #itsoktotalk 

	 Sunset in the Sahara

If you wish to make a donation or find out more about the Sahara 6, click here

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