A group of intrepid trekkers will be hiking through the tropical rainforest in Colombia to raise money for the Salisbury Hospital’s charity Stars Appeal.

The 34 fundraisers, aged from 80 to 23, are making final preparations for their walking adventure to the 1500-year-old Lost City of Teyuna.

They will trek for up to 12-hours a day in around 30-degree heat and 90 per cent humidity, staying in simple communal bunkhouses. To reach the Lost City they will have to climb 1,200 ancient stone steps.

To prepare for their challenge the trekkers have been doing 10-12 mile walks every weekend.

For three-time cancer survivor Colin Ford of Salisbury, this will be his second Stars Appeal trek after trekking to Petra in Jordan in 2022.

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He said: “During my treatment I have had more than my fair share of opportunity to benefit from the many facilities funded by the Stars Appeal.

"These include CT scanners, MRI scanners, specialist observation machines and equipment on the Pembroke Suite and Urology Department and the free Wi-Fi and tea and coffee stations on the wards. There’s no doubt the work of the charity made the care I’ve received even better.”

Colin will be joined by first time trekkers, GP Dr Helena McKeown and her husband Peter Ewing, from Harnham.

Helena said: “It’s brilliant to be raising money for the Stars Appeal. I’ve had four children at Salisbury Hospital as well as having emergency procedures and referrals where I’ve received fantastic care. I have a lot to thank them for.”

Helena could have been forced to give up her three-decade-long career as a GP after a rare complication caused after breaking her finger 10 years ago left her unable to use her right hand.

Helena said: “I would have had to retire early. I have the hospital and their staff at the fracture clinic and occupational therapy to thank for getting my hand working again and enabling me to return to the job I love.”

The trekkers set off on Saturday, April 20. All of them have paid for their own trek costs and together hope to raise more than £50,000 for the Stars Appeal.