Mum and daughter complete Sahara Desert trek for dementia research

Helen Amber

By Philip Tubby | Monday 29 January 2018

A teenager and her mum completed a gruelling 100km trek across the Sahara Desert to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Amber Jeffrey, 15, and her mum Helen, who live in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, were inspired to support the UK’s leading dementia research charity because Amber’s great aunt has Alzheimer’s disease.

Helen and Amber

The six-day trek in Morocco was the culmination of a year of fundraising activities, which raised nearly £3,500 for life-changing dementia research.

One of their biggest fundraising events was a quiz night, organised as part of Alzheimer’s Research UK’s The Mighty Quiz campaign. They also organised a social evening with a Paul McCartney tribute act and sold items donated by family and friends at monthly car boot sales.

Helen, 45, said:

“I’m very proud of Amber, not just for completing the trek but for her efforts raising the money. Being involved in this has really boosted her confidence.

“For the car boots she had to get up at 4am in the morning, which is not easy for a teenager.

“The trek was very tough. We had to get up at the crack of dawn each day and had to carry all our supplies for the day. Each night we were camping out in the desert, there were no washing or toilet facilities. For a teenager to be happy to just crack on and not complain shows how strong a person she is.

“Although it was tough, it was a great experience. The scenery is amazing. You think the desert would be just sand dunes, but it’s quite diverse. And the night sky is incredible.”

Amber said:

“It was a life-changing experience and I will never forget it. It benefitted me in many ways and made me a stronger person.

“I will admit it was tough but to give up was never an option. I truly made myself proud and I hope my family felt the same. I’m very grateful for everyone who donated and helped me with this trek.

“Alzheimer’s Research UK is a very important charity. I hope I have made a difference and have inspired people to do the same because this charity is amazing and we will find a cure for dementia.”

Gillian Edwards, Regional Fundraising Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We can’t thank Amber and Helen enough for raising vital funds for dementia research and supporting the work we do to bring about the first life-changing dementia treatment by 2025.

“There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and Alzheimer’s Research UK is leading the fightback to bring an end to the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia through world-class research projects across the UK and beyond.”

After a hugely successful first year, The Mighty Quiz has been relaunched for 2018. It’s a unique quiz which gives you all the tools you need to host an event and raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. For more information and to download a Quizmaster pack go to www.themightyquiz.org

If you would like to take on a trek for Alzheimer’s Research UK go to www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/support-us/fundraise/events for more information.

About the author

Philip Tubby