Saddleworth runner raring to go for Morocco trek fundraiser

p9 Howard Chambers in Morocco_location of Francis House trek 2015
Howard Chambers running in Morocco, the location of next Francis House trek

A HOSPICE for children and young adults is seeking trekkers to sign up for an overseas challenge to Morocco to help raise funds.

Following the charity’s first group organised trek in 2013, Francis House Children’s Hospice has its sights set on the High Atlas Mountain range and Marrakech for an eight-day trek in October 2015.

Among the first to support the hospice and provide a wealth of expertise and experience is fell runner Howard Chambers.

“I started hill walking when I was 11 with David Ireland, our Boys Brigade Captain at the time,” explained Howard, a coach with Saddleworth Runners.

“David is now the chief executive of Francis House and also our minister at Oldham’s United Reformed Church.”

Howard, now 50, started running with Oldham and Royton Harriers and can regularly be seen running over the moors of the Peak District.

Last year he undertook a four-day trip to Morocco, reviewing the area and looking at routes.

He said: “Morocco has something really special I can’t quite explain. It is like another world but only three hours away.

“The Berber population is truly wonderful, very caring and immensely proud people. Anyone who joins us will experience something unique.”

As well as experiencing the greatest mountain range of North Africa, participants will spend part of their stay in the comfort of the Kasbah du Toubkal.

Once the summer haunt of the village chief, the Kasbah has been caringly restored by Discover Limited into a top class luxury retreat.

Back in 2013 a group of twenty walkers including Howard, his wife Joanne, Reverend David Ireland and Gill Bevin, Director of Care at Francis House, raised £39,000 in sponsorship from the desert trek in Jordan.

The Morocco trek will cost £950 per person and everyone taking part will be asked to raise £1,000 in donations for Francis House.

Howard said: “I have been fortunate to come to Francis House on a number of open days and see it in operation. It’s a truly wonderful, caring place.”

Anyone interested in registering for the trek can come along to an information evening at Francis House in Didsbury at 7pm on Tuesday, February 24.

Francis House cares for over 370 sick children, teenagers and young adults with a short life expectancy and needs over £3.6 million in donations each year to provide its services.

For more information about the trek visit their website:

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