Desert Fox Janice Gets Sahara Charity Boost

Posted on the 12 September 2010

Desert Fox Janice Gets Sahara Charity Boost

AS 30-year old Janice Harvey steps up her training for a tough 100km trek across the Sahara to raise funds for the Great North Air Ambulance Service, her bosses at technology experts ITPS have stepped in by donating the £1500 raised at a recent golf day towards her sponsorship target.

Marketing executive Janice, who lives in Dunston and has worked at ITPS for six years, will join 20 other fund raisers in a nine-day trek across the Sahara, where daytime temperatures are expected to be in the 90s.

The group will be walking for around six hours each day over terrain including huge sand dunes and rocky plains, and camping out in freezing temperatures at night. They will be led by Berber tribesmen and accompanied by a small troop of camels to carry the supplies and medical kit.

“This will be a real personal challenge for me,” said Janice.

“I’m taking my fitness very seriously and have been visiting the gym at least eight times a week to do cardio and weights. I’m also doing huge walks at the weekends to build up my stamina.

“I’m doing some hill and beach walks on soft sand to get me used to walking on different types of terrain, which is hard on my legs but I’m determined to complete the walk and raise as much money as I can. I’ll be walking with my friend Lynsey McPherson, who is raising money for St Oswald’s Hospice, so hopefully we will keep each other motivated if the going gets tough.

“We’re taking everything from thermals and waterproofs to sunscreen and de-hydration tablets as the weather and temperatures can be very variable, so that’s another factor to contend with.

“I still have a lot of training to do to make sure I’m fit enough to complete the challenge and raise at least £2000, so the £1500 from my employers is a really welcome boost.

“The Air Ambulance Service does a fantastic job and receives no public funding. It’s a cause very dear to my heart as I know several people who have needed its services.

“I’m slightly nervous but incredibly excited too, it will be a fantastic experience and something to tell my future children and grandchildren about.”

George Galloway, sales director at ITPS said: “We’re calling Janice our very own Dunston Desert Fox, but on a serious note we’re very happy to be able to help her fundraising efforts for such a good cause. We wish her the very best of luck and look forward to hearing her stories about the trip when she gets back.”

Janice’s fund-raising efforts have included organising charity quiz nights, domino cards, and individual pledges from friends and family. Anyone who wants to sponsor Janice can visit her JustGiving page at: