‘There’s never been a more important time to act’ – Supporter takes on epic Mount Everest challenge

‘There’s never been a more important time to act’ – Supporter takes on epic Mount Everest challenge

‘There’s never been a more important time to act’ – Supporter takes on epic Mount Everest challenge

Lauren will be one of 15 people taking on the challenge

11 days of trekking. 71 miles. 5,364m of altitude. It’s a huge challenge, but Lauren Carless is ready for her expedition to Everest Base Camp.

The financial planner from Cardiff is aiming to raise £3,000 for Shelter Cymru and Velindre Cancer Centre by taking on this epic fundraising hike in sub-zero conditions in the Himalayas.

“It’s always been on my bucket list,” said Lauren, who loved walking in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park with her dad Tim when she was growing up.

“Naturally, I developed his love of hiking,” she said. “So when a friend told me she knew someone who was organising a trip to Mount Everest, it didn’t take me long to sign up.”

The 30-year-old runs her own business called Lauren Carless Financial Planning and is a member of the Business Network International (BNI) group in Cardiff Bay.

It was there she first met Neil Davies, who works as Regional Fundraiser for Shelter Cymru, and she immediately wanted to support the charity’s work.

Lauren and Neil collecting donations at Cardiff Christmas Festival

Lauren and Neil collecting donations at Cardiff Christmas Festival

“I’ve supported Shelter Cymru through BNI Cardiff Bay for the last few years and I care deeply about helping to end homelessness,” she explained.

“Neil is always presenting us with eye-opening statistics about people facing and experiencing homelessness in Wales.”

Last year, the people and homes charity helped more than 22,000 people in housing need in Wales, including nearly 7,000 dependent children.

Recently, Lauren volunteered at Cardiff Christmas Festival, helping to collect more than £700 in donations towards Shelter Cymru’s Winter Appeal.

“With the cost of living crisis continuing to affect Welsh communities, I feel like there’s never been a more important time to act,” she said.

Lauren in the mountains

Lauren in the mountains

Lauren, who will also be supporting Velindre Cancer Centre, has been training hard for the challenge, which will see her trek more than 70 miles to an altitude of 5,364m.

“I’m hitting the gym as much as I can. The stair climber machine has become my new best friend,” she laughed.

“I’m also getting out for hikes at weekends with the rest of the team who’ll be doing the trek. It’s been lovely getting to know everyone.”

Lauren will be one of 15 people taking on the challenge and is most looking forward to spending time with the other hikers.

“We’re all raising money for causes close to our hearts,” She said. “So the sense of ‘we’re all in this together’ will make it a very special trip. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Lauren on a training hike

Lauren on a training hike

She’s also excited to see the Himalayas – a part of the world she’s always wanted to visit – although is feeling nervous about the possibility of altitude sickness.

“We’ll take precautions,” she said. “We’ll have guides and medical professionals supporting us. I just want to finish the trek!”

With just weeks to go before flying to Lukla in Nepal, Lauren is busy thinking about her packing list. She added: “A lot of prep is going in to making sure I have the right kit.”

“With sub-zero temperatures and only being allowed to take 15kg on the small plane, I’ve had to think carefully about what I need.

“We have 71 miles of trekking ahead of us, ascending to 5,364m above sea level. We’ll be facing low oxygen levels, temperatures below freezing and no hot water for showers for 11 days.”

Lauren in her backpack

Lauren in her backpack

Lauren is aiming to raise £3,000 for Shelter Cymru and Velindre Cancer Centre. She said: “I’ve had a great response so far and want to say thank you to everyone who has kindly donated already.”

Neil added: “Thank you to Lauren, who’s taking on this mammoth challenge to raise vital funds for our work at Shelter Cymru.

“As a fundraiser, I feel really proud seeing the incredible achievements of our supporters. We’re so grateful to Lauren for all her support – from awareness raising to bucket collections.

“On behalf of the whole team at Shelter Cymru, I’d like to wish Lauren the best of luck for her expedition. Have a safe trip and we can’t wait to hear about your adventure when you get home.”

Visit Lauren’s Go Fund Me page to make a donation. 

14 February 2024

By Liz Day