A teen adventurer will embark on the challenge of a lifetime to raise money for deserving hospices.
James Baxter is planning to trek across deserts and abseil down the canyons of Utah and Nevada in the USA to add to his already sizeable total for Trinity Hospice and Brian House Children’s Hospice.
The 18-year-old, of Manor Way, Wrea Green, has agreed to donate the total he makes on his summer expedition to The Gazette’s Hospice Heroes appeal, which hopes to raise £200,000 for the two Bispham facilities.
Gap-year student James raised £1,252 for Brian House – a hospice he has volunteered at during the last two years –when he walked 44 miles from Carlisle to Corbridge in Northumberland over three days last month during the St Jude storm.
He said: “At times it got really windy and rained so we had to take cover but it was great fun.
“The first 10 miles were a lot of trenches but the scenery was beautiful.
“The last day was really difficult because my feet were sore and my legs started to ache.
“My feet were blistered but knowing it was all for a good cause pushed me on.”
James hopes to go to university next year to study medicine but is currently spending his time volunteering with the children at Brian House and raising money for it.
The hospices on Low Moor Road, Bispham, urgently need a massive refurbishment to make them fit for the future.
Our money, together with a £280,000 grant from the Department of Health, will create single rooms, offering privacy to those who want it.
At Brian House the children’s bedrooms will be made brighter and safer, the living area will be extended and the kitchen will be remodelled.
James hopes to set off to the USA in June to tackle the canyons.
The conditions will be treacherous and he will have to put up with 40 degree heat while carrying his ropes, harnesses and a wetsuit incase he lands in stagnant water at the bottom of his abseil.
He added: “The campaign sounds really good.
“I don’t know the exact dates yet because there could be flash flooding before I go and the canyons would be closed off.
“It can be dangerous but the stories you hear about people being injured are because they haven’t been as careful as I know I’m going to be.”
To donate to James visit www.justgiving.com/jamesbaxtertrinity