As Santa prepares his reindeer in Lapland this year, one Buckinghamshire couple are getting ready for an Arctic adventure of their own to raise money for the NSPCC.
Dog lovers Alice Radford and James Russell, from Haddenham, will be swapping their spaniels for huskies when they sled 260km across Norway and Sweden in a bid to raise £10,000 for the UK’s leading children’s charity.
The pair, both 28, will travel up to 75km-a-day in the freezing conditions after Alice was inspired by the work her dad and step-mum have done during their careers with the charity.
The Lapland adventure will see Alice and James mark their 30th birthdays by camping in sub-zero, arctic conditions.
Alice said: “I heard a lot about the charity growing up and the hard work they do to help children who have suffered from abuse is hugely important, so I want to give something back.
“But the NSPCC don’t just help victims, they proactively work to stop abuse, educating schoolchildren, encouraging victims to come forward safely and ensuring anyone worried about a child has the outlet to raise their concerns.”
James and Alice will be preparing for the expedition that takes place in March 2018 by undertaking a series of triathlons including the Snowdonia Slateman event.
Alice will also be running the Brighton and Yorkshire marathons and the couple aim to complete the Three Peaks Challenge in a bid to be physically prepared and reach their huge fundraising target.
She said: “We need to do more than just running which is why we want to do the three peaks and slateman to try and get used to walking at altitude.
“We’re both skiers and love alpine conditions and being in snow, but the challenge is quite nerve-wracking, especially sleeping in tents in the arctic. No doubt it will test our relationship at times.
“Although the training is going to be tough, the fundraising challenge over the next year is going to be the hardest part.”
The pair will be paying for the whole cost of the adventure themselves, meaning all the money raised will be used to help vulnerable children.
Jacqui Venters, NSPCC Community Fundraising Manager for Buckinghamshire, said: “Alice and James will have the time of their lives on this adventure and will be raising vital funds for the charity’s work along the way. I wish them both the best of luck.
“More than 80% of our income comes from individual fundraising and giving so, I must also thank them for helping us carry out our substantial work of helping children every day and giving them the chance to dream again this Christmas and all year round.”
To find out more about Alice and James’ adventure and to donate towards their target, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/allieradford.
For more information about the NSPCC’s Lapland Husky Trail visit www.nspcc.org.uk/what-you-can-do/events/lapland-husky-trail.