A group of women from Brecon are trekking across the Arctic to raise money for a cancer charity.

The eight women signed up for the Arctic Blast Snowshoe Challenge for 2024, supporting the Velindre Cancer Centre Wales.

It came after the group were inspired by the story of Simon Ford, Velindre Ambassador, and founder of Venture to Victory. Simon lost his fiancée to cancer more than 10 years ago and has been fundraising ever since. Velindre is Wales’ foremost and primary cancer centre and holistically offers ongoing support and advice.

The ladies from Brecon - Karen Davies, Terry Holmes, Cathy Ingram, Amy Russell, Gemma Sandison, Rhiannon Thomas, Zoe Verry and Nicky Williams - trained hard over the last 10 months by walking mountains in North Wales, as well as in Bannau Brycheiniog. They attended training sessions on the sandy dunes of Merthyr Mawr, and have walked hours along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal wearing weighted rucksacks.

They have been involved in the Brecon Show, fundraising in Morrisons, as well as festivals and tractor runs to raise money, raising nearly £22,000 in the process.

The well-prepared group will now trek the Arctic. They will need to take two flights, before arriving at the mountain base of Abisko, located about 200km into the Arctic Circle, where they will trial their snow boots and trek 100km over seven days with their expedition leaders.

The ladies from Brecon trained hard over the last 10 months
The ladies from Brecon trained hard over the last 10 months (Terry Holmes)

They must carry everything they need to survive; their bags will bear the weight of their food rations, expedition clothes, safety equipment and even medical supplies. Completing the challenge involves traversing sheer and ancient glaciers, facing whiteouts and storms and maybe even spotting some of the beautiful Arctic wildlife, to finish as a team knowing that they have bonded together to raise as much money as they all possibly could to help support the wonderful centre of hope that Velindre is.

All eight ladies involved have grown as a team and support one another through the tough training, the early starts, and the late evening hikes-and all in their spare time.

You can support the group at their GoFundMe at: https://shorturl.at/ruBC4