Pomeroy nurse to scale active Icelandic volcano for Southern Area Hospice

Elaine Simpson is to trek across Iceland for charity
Elaine Simpson is to trek across Iceland for charity

A Pomeroy woman who lost her uncle to cancer 10 years ago has decided to give something back to the hospice that cared for him in his dying days.

Elaine Simpson, who works as a community nurse in Moneymore, knows personally the value of the services provided by Southern Area Hospice.

As well as caring for those with cancer, the charity offers palliative care to those suffering from a range of other illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease, HIV and Aids.

But, just to maintain the level of care they now provide, the hospice - which relies heavily on charitable donations - must raise an astonishing £6,301 a day [£2.3m per year].

To help them reach that target the brave nurse has decided to put her own fears aside to take on the biggest challenge of her life - trekking across an active volcano and mountains in Iceland.

“I just want to give something back,” she told the Mail.

The active volcano Elaine is to take on

The active volcano Elaine is to take on

“They heavily rely on fundraising to maintain their level of care [so] I am doing a trek to Iceland on the 15 of August to the 21 of August. But in order for me to do that I have been tasked with raising £3,500.”

But the fundraising is only part of the challenge. Elaine will have to cover almost 50km in five days - passing an active volcano and scaling mountains and gorges on her way.

“I am nervous,” she told the Mail, “it’s a personal challenge as well as everything else.

“I have a fear of heights and I hate flying,” she said.

“In order to get ready for that I am training three nights a week and have joined the Mid Ulster Walking Club.”

For more information on Elaine’s fundraising efforts see facebook.com/elainesfundraisingpage