After eight days under the scorching desert sun, 24 dehydrated meals, many blisters, and a newfound understanding of what it’s like living in isolation – the Youngcare Simpson Desert Challenge trekkers, including our own Mark Alfred, have returned from the gruelling challenge.
The trekkers made up a diverse group: news and radio presenters, a high school student, a tradesman, and an orthopedic surgeon (to name a few), but were all dedicated to facing the once-in-a-lifetime challenge to help young Aussies in need.
Their journey began on the 28th of April as they arrived at the neighbouring desert town in Central West Queensland, Birdsville. Here, they enjoyed their last taste of civilisation before making their way to their Simpson Desert base camp.
The gruelling trek began bright and early on Saturday morning of the 30th of April, and the team quickly found what they expected was true: they were indeed putting their endurance to the test.
They faced extreme weather conditions (temperatures soared up to 40 degrees!), sand dunes up to 50 metres high, as well as blisters, snakes, scorpions – and about a 30 km trek on sand every day. Through it all, though, the team remained in high spirits and forged a great camaraderie.
The understanding and appreciation that these trekkers gained from having their basic needs stripped from them on this desert journey brings to the fore the reason for this challenge.
Thousands of young Aussies with high care needs wake up in aged care facilities each day. They experience an isolation that the desert trekkers only caught a glimpse of on their challenge – an isolation against which these young people are near powerless.
Help us to get young people out of aged care by donating to Mark Alfred’s trek – it’s not too late! Donations close on the 26th of May. We’d like to extend heartfelt thanks to all supporters, including major supporters Laser Group Australia and InStyle Solar.
Visit Mark’s page to make a donation or to learn more about Youngcare and the Simpson Desert Challenge 2016.
You know our own Australian General Manager Mark Alfred completed the challenge – but how did he cope? Any tears, Alfie? Stay tuned to hear his story as we interview him and Todd, a Youngcare resident.