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Judith Bromley Smashes Fundraising Target on Trek Across the Sahara


On 22 February 2024, Russell & Russell’s Wills and Probate consultant solicitor and former managing partner Judith Bromley swapped the grey skies of Bolton for the sun of the Sahara as she joined a team of 19 others for a five-day trek to raise funds for Bolton Hospice.

The group battled extreme temperatures and slept under the stars as they walked more than 30 miles across the sun-baked plains of the Moroccan Sahara in a bid to raise £40,000 for the Hospice.

Here, we catch up with Judith to hear how the fundraisers fared.

What did the trek across the Sahara involve?

The trip involved a five-day expedition trekking 55km across the Moroccan Sahara Desert to help raise funds for Bolton Hospice.

We flew to Marrakech and were met by our guide in preparation for the start of the trek the following day.

Before we set out for the desert, we were welcomed by the rest of the trek team and the camels. Our group was assisted by a local Berber team comprising the guides, cook and camel owners (the camels were our porters, carrying our luggage and equipment, although we had to carry our supplies and water for the day).

We walked an average of 15kms each day battling temperatures of 30–35 degrees, across vast sand dunes and dried up rocky riverbeds. 

On reaching our camp each night, we faced extremely cold night temperatures of just below freezing.

We slept in tents and lived how the nomadic people of the Sahara live: from sleeping out under the stars to reading the magnificent Saharan night sky.

We had no access to toilet or washing facilities for four days, so it was very primitive.  

Everything that is brought into the desert must be taken back out, meaning we were very mindful about leaving anything behind.

How many people participated?

There were 20 of us taking part in the trek, aged between 35 and 65. 

What did you eat?

All our food was prepared by our guides and the raw ingredients were carried by our camels. 

We ate a lot of vegetable-based dishes, which is the staple diet of the region, along with eggs, cous cous, plenty of dates and oranges galore!

What were the highlights of the trek?

The highlight was seeing the vastness of the desert and the night sky which was beautiful with no light pollution.

What did you find most difficult about the experience?

The lack of toilets! And sand gets everywhere!

What were you most grateful for when you got home?

I was very glad to have a hot shower and to see my dog.

Why are you raising money for Bolton Hospice?

Bolton Hospice provides end-of-life care to cancer patients and other people with terminal diagnoses.

As a charity, the hospice is mainly self-funded. It needs to raise £3.5m this year to continue the invaluable end-of-life care it provides patients and their families. 

However, it is currently running at a £1.2m loss. With the risk of having to cut a third of their beds, the hospice needs people’s support and donations more than ever.

At Russell & Russell, we have worked closely with Bolton Hospice for many years, and I have acted as its chairperson since 2014.

I felt that it is important for me to lead from the front when we ask people to go out of their comfort zone to raise monies for us, especially as we are facing as a country the biggest funding crisis to the hospice movement in years. 

How much money have you raised for Bolton Hospice so far?

Our original target was £40,000. 

However, the group as a whole has just gone over £66,500, which is way beyond our wildest dreams. 

How can people make a donation?

For those who wish to donate, our Just Giving site is still open. We are extremely grateful for anything you can spare towards this brilliant cause.

This isn’t the first time you have completed a huge challenge for charity. Tell us about some of your other fundraising adventures.

My first trek was to Machu Picchu in Peru in 2003.

Since then, I have completed the tour of Mount Blanc, climbed Mount Toubkal in Morocco, climbed Kilimanjaro, summited to Everest base camp, trekked through the base of the Grand Canyon, completed one section of the Camino De Santiago in Spain, and climbed to Annapurna base camp in Nepal.

What do you have planned next?

We are planning the Portuguese leg of the Camino de Santiago in May 2025.

To donate to Judith’s Sahara Trek in aid of Bolton Hospice, please click here.

How can we help?