A challenging trip to Nepal for Market Harborough couple

The Hope Centre Project
The Hope Centre Project

A Market Harborough couple had a number of setbacks before they headed off to Nepal to continue their fundraising work.

Market Harborough couple Charles and Anne Barton continue to raise funds for New Futures Nepal and this year dividing the funds raised with blood cancer research.

The trekkers at the Annapurna Base Camp with Charles in the white t-shirt

The trekkers at the Annapurna Base Camp with Charles in the white t-shirt

However, cancelled flights, avalanches and tremors were not part of their planning. The couple then went onto explain how their fundraising challenge and support seemed to be fated by circumstances beyond their control.

They have been involved in the charity New Futures Nepal since 2002 when Charles met 10 children living in a dilapidated rented house. The decision with other trekkers he met has been a 17year journey watching the original 10 children grow up to move onto independent lives and over 55 others children grow through their care, education and medical requirements the Hope Centre project provides.

This April, Charles’s challenge was to reach Annapurna Base Camp with a small group of other fundraisers.

He explained that he had accompanied several fundraising treks over the years and this was the highest at around 4130-4200 meters but that this would probably be his last.as he was now 72 it would probably be his last due to age, fitness and young family in Australia.

But, a few weeks before they were about to fly out to Nepal they were informed that there had been avalanches and landslides in and around the region the base camp with a 50:50 chance of more avalanches and that the trek may not be possible.

Then just a few days before Charles and Anne were to fly out to Nepal that Jet Airways, the company they had their flights with, went out of business.

Their misfortunes changed when rearrange flights were secured and told that now the avalanche forecast was only five per cent and that the trek as planned would take place.

Although Anne has travelled with Charles to Nepal over the years, they always part company in Kathmandu. Charles accompanying the fundraising groups who get to visit and meet the children and see where and how their fundraising is spent. Anne’s time in Kathmandu is spent with the children and carers at the Hope Centre project.

Anne said: “The last thing you expect is to be woken up at 6am with the bed rising from the floor due to an earthquake tremor of magnitude 4.8 which struck Kathmandu.”

She said she was amazed but not surprised when she went down to breakfast how calm and matter of fact everyone was.

When Charles returned to Kathmandu having seen the avalanche and landslide damage high in the rural mountain area he had just trekked, the couple recall their visit in 2016 when New Futures Nepal trustees saw the devastating effects of the 2015 earthquake.

Charles continues to fundraise for his own Charity New Futures Nepal and Blood Cancer research for a personal reason.

Charles has self-funded all the challenge meaning that every penny donated goes to the charity. He is leaving the fundraising open hoping to reach his £3,000 target by August. To donate go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CharlesBarton2