Jungle trek is no sweat for John

TRUDGING through sticky, humid jungles or climbing up harsh mountains would probably be a nightmare for most people.But 62-year-old John Edwards, from White Colne near Colchester, has done it and keeps going back for more.

TRUDGING through sticky, humid jungles or climbing up harsh mountains would probably be a nightmare for most people.

But 62-year-old John Edwards, from White Colne near Colchester, has done it and keeps going back for more.

For the seventh time in five years, semi-retired Mr Edwards has taken up another Scope Challenge. This time it is to complete a Vietnam jungle trek to raise money for the charity helping people with cerebral palsy.

On November 15, 60 volunteers from across Britain will embark on the 10-day trip. After flying to Vietnam they will hike for one week through the jungle.


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Part-time gardener Mr Edwards admits: "The trek will be very hard and demanding, especially towards the end of the trek when we traverse Mount Yokdon, but this is a challenge and we well do it."

This time he needs to raise £3,000. Fundraising events so far have included a sponsored 25-mile circular walk in Pebmarsh, near Halstead which was supported by 225 people and raised about £2,000. He is also holding a fundraising raffle.

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Mr Edwards began this charity work in 1997 when he heard about a fundraising initiative in Nepal, a country he had always dreamed of visiting. He described the trip as "a life-changing experience" and from then on he had the travel bug.

In 1999 he climbed Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, trekked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru in 2000, cycled 450 kilometres through the Rift valley in Kenya in 2001, returned to Nepal in 2002 and earlier this year he completed the 400 kilometre cycle safari in Tanzania.

He said: "I love the adventure and as part of that it helps people with cerebral palsy which is the main thing. It's a good way to raise money for charity."

To date Mr Edwards has raised more than £30,000 for Scope. One in every 400 children born in this country has cerebral palsy. It is a condition that makes it hard to control muscles, limiting communication and mobility and it can happen to anyone, with no warning and no cure.

To make a donation, or enter the raffle, make cheques payable to Scope and send to John Edwards, 91 Colchester Road, White Colne, Colchester, Essex, CO6 2PP.

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