The Countess of Wessex celebrated the achievements of hikers who tackled a gruelling trek across Ethiopia to raise £153,000 in support of Wellbeing of Women and The Urology Foundation.
Sophie, who is a supporter of Wellbeing of Women, presented the cheque to the organisations and chatted with participants of last year’s incredible hike during a reception at Working Title Films this week.
The weeklong Hike for Hope was led by Wellbeing of Women Honorary president Sir Marcus Setchell (also The Queen’s former Surgeon Gynaecologist) and renowned prostate surgeon Professor Roger Kirby. Joined by other supporters, the team tackled Ethiopia’s Simien mountain range and on the seventh day, reached the summit after a tough 14-hour ascent to the top.
According to Wellbeing of Women, the team previously “completed five treks across Jordan, Kenya, the Sinai desert, India and the Atlas Mountains to raise a total of £1.3million for charity.”
The hike supported Wellbeing of Women, which finds cures and treatments for female reproductive health issues, as well as The Urology Foundation, which is the only charity in the UK and Ireland that tackles all urology diseases.
Sir Marcus said about this year’s event, “Those of us who had been on previous Hike for Hope treks all agreed that this was the most physically challenging of all the treks. Our age range was early 30s to late 70s.
All 14 of the trekkers coped amazingly well; many of them had never done anything like this before and were way outside their comfort zone.
All of us found we very nearly reached the limits of our capabilities with the 14-hour final ascent. I was not alone in accepting that I was unlikely to reach the peak, but the sense of elation as we got near to it, fired us up with the feeling that having got this far, one could make the last 200 metres of nearly sheer rock face.”
In addition to Wellbeing of Women, the countess supports several charities that promote women’s health and other women’s interests, including Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Breast Cancer Haven, and her new association with the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative.