Paul’s trek for Cavendish Cancer Care

From: BeyondPR
Published: Tue Sep 01 2009

Paul Downing believes everyone should try and do something for charity if they can, and he’s putting his money where his mouth is. The Fretwell-Downing director responsible for the hotel and events businesses - Whirlowbrook Hall and The Maynard – is embarking upon a trek for Cavendish Cancer Care in October.

Paul doesn’t do anything by halves, so this is no walk in the Derbyshire Dales or even a three peaks challenge…..he decided to aim high for his first ever trek and attempt Everest base camp! Paul leaves for Kathmandu on 9 October. The three week trek involves a climb of 5,600m (18,370ft) and will pass through some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet. Walking for five or six hours a day in the Himalayas is not exactly everyone’s idea of a holiday, or even a good time; a year ago, Paul might have agreed, and was the last person you would expect to take on such a "bonkers" challenge.

Anyone who knows Paul will tell you that he has been a different man since deciding some time ago to commit to the Himalayan adventure. Out walking his new dog George on a daily basis
(sometimes twice a day), recruiting a personal trainer and being more careful with what he eats and drinks, Paul has thrown himself into it 100%, in the true British spirit and tradition of charitable endeavour.

"I like to try and do things as well as I can", said Paul, "so launching into such a ridiculous assault on Everest base camp without any preparation was a non-starter. I realised that once I had pressed the ‘confirm’ key on the computer keyboard, there was no turning back and I would have to give it a good go. And once I’d decided that Cavendish Cancer Care would be the beneficiary charity, it became much easier to focus the mind on the job in hand.

"Taking on this sort of challenge would for some people be fairly easy, but for me, getting into shape to even be able to attempt it has been quite a big deal. I wasn’t exactly known for being the outdoor sporty type in recent years, and preparing for the trek has involved significant lifestyle changes that have proven very positive."

Paul is having to find the money himself for the trip, and is being backed by the family firm
Fretwell-Downing, who are sponsoring some of the new kit required for the expedition.

Photography nut Paul is less worried about altitude sickness on the trip than he is about being able to keep his Nikon fully-charged. "I think the desire to take a lot of photos will be overwhelming, I just hope that modern battery technology is up to the job and I don’t return home with an empty memory card!"

To sponsor Paul’s Himalayan trek for Cavendish Cancer Care, visit Paul’s Just Giving page at

Ref: MAY185 – Himalayan trek 2009

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