Ultra-athlete David Atkins from Hexham has taken on two incredible challenges and raised over £1,250 for Tynedale Hospice at Home.

David Atkins, who works for MJC Northumbria Construction, ran the Great North Run in September and then just six weeks later embarked on a 10 day trek to Everest Base Camp where he scaled to an altitude of 5,500 metres in his bid to boost his fundraising total.

David is no stranger to high adrenaline challenges having taken part in the Great North Run last year and climbed Ben Nevis and the Three Peaks in the last 12 months, but admits that the Everest trek tested his grit and determination like no other challenge he’s experienced.

David said: “The Everest Base Camp trek was certainly one of the toughest challenges I have ever taken on.  Although I went very well prepared and undertook a strict training and fitness regime in the run up to the trek, dealing with the altitude and lack of oxygen is something that’s hard to prepare for as you never know how your body is going to react until you are there.

“I didn’t suffer from really bad altitude sickness but I had a headache most of the time I was trekking and I totally lost my appetite which wasn’t ideal given the amount of energy I needed every day. The night before the final climb to Base Camp I did seriously think about giving up as I didn’t think I was physically up to it.  I forced myself to eat a massive bowl of custard though and that seemed to do the trick. By the next morning I was raring to go!”

“I can’t pretend that I wasn’t pleased to reach the end of the trek, but the stunning scenery and view of Everest were amazing. I will never forget them. I won’t miss the terrifying narrow bridges that we had to cross with terrifying drops below though!

“Knowing that I was raising money for such a great cause was worth all the effort and this really kept me going along the way.  I am so grateful to everyone who sponsored me too and I would like to say a special thanks to my business sponsors – Abbey Plant Hire, Achilles Physio and 21st Century Herbs – who also generously supported my fundraising efforts.

“Tynedale Hospice at Home is an amazing local charity which makes a difference to so many people, not just through the nursing care it provides, but also through its bereavement services and hospital transport service. I am pleased to have been able to contribute something that means more people can continue to benefit from these services.”

Cathy Bates, Senior Community Fundraiser, at Tynedale Hospice at Home, said: “We can’t thank David enough for his amazing fundraising efforts, I feel exhausted just thinking about what he has achieved over the last couple of months!   This incredible boost to our fundraising could pay for 42 hours of hospice at home nursing care or 25 journeys to and from hospital for a patient receiving vital treatment for a life-limiting illness.”

David is already planning his next adventure.

“When you complete a challenge like this it gives you a thirst for more.  Whilst I haven’t decided what my next challenge will be, I want it to be even bigger than this one!”

You can still sponsor David by visiting his fundraising page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/davidatkins80