Belfast Telegraph

Great Wall of China no match for charity trekkers

by Fiona Rutherford

Three intrepid friends took on the challenge of a lifetime in May, by successfully completing a Great Wall of China trek to raise more than £11,000 for the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children.

The sisters Donna-Lee and Jacqueline Hollinger, together with friend and fellow Girls' Brigade Officer Susan Robinson — from the 18th NI Dundonald Presbyterian Girls Brigade — trekked 6300km from coast to desert to reach one of the world's few man-made constructions that can be seen from space.

During their trek, the three friends had an opportunity to discover for themselves China's ancient history, and explore this wonder of the world.

The girls said of their experience: “At first we were worried about how we would complete this arduous challenge in just five days, but with the help and support of our guides, Terri and Michael, we soon got into our stride and began to enjoy the trek.

“The breathtaking scenery helped to make the daily challenges all the more worthwhile, and on our final day we had the unique opportunity to place our own brick onto the wall, helping to rebuild the Badaling section.”

They added: “As well as helping to rebuild the Great Wall of China, we got to build life-long friendships.

“Even more importantly, we were able to help to raise vital funds and awareness for the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported us, and helped us to achieve this amazing total.”

Having originally set themselves a fundraising target of £8,000, the girls managed to far surpass this figure, and through sheer determination, and with the support and generosity of their families, friends, colleagues, members of their Girls' Brigade Company, and church, they managed to raise a total of £11,730.09 for the charity.

Two children are diagnosed with cancer every week in Northern Ireland, so for information on the charity, or to find out how you can help, please visit the NICFC’s website by clicking on

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