Cambodia trek for CancerCare will be challenge of Georgie's lifetime

on Tuesday, 07 November 2017. Tags cancer, Cancer Support, CancerCare, halton, hypnotherapy, Kendal, Lancaster, North Lancashire, Slynedales, South Lakeland, Therapist

Cambodia trek will be done for people affected by cancer

A therapy coordinator from CancerCare is preparing for one of the biggest challenges of her life.

Georgie Whittle, who is also a hypnotherapist with CancerCare in Lancaster and Kendal, is gearing up for a gruelling 80km charity trek across Cambodia.

Georgie will be 60 years of age when she does the trek and she sees it as an exciting challenge at this time in her life.

Georgie said: “Last summer I was very ill after a dog bite and I lost the ability to move my hand.

“I was really, really frightened. Then I thought – ‘stop thinking about what you can’t do and look at what you can do’.

“I thought ‘I can walk’ and then I saw the Cambodia trek advertised on Facebook.

“The trek is specifically for cancer and as I have had personal experience of it, I decided to sign up. It will be a physical challenge as I reach the milestone of 60.

“I am also keen to see CancerCare develop its Young Person’s Service so hopefully some of the money I raise can be ring-fenced for that.”

In 2007 Georgie walked the Great Wall of China for CancerCare and this time around she is hoping to raise at least £3,000 for the charity by doing the walk in November 2018.

Georgie grew up in Morecambe and attended West End Primary School and Morecambe Grammar School.

She then joined Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps and her first posting was at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire. After that Georgie worked for the army in Hong Kong and became fully qualified as a nurse.

She said: “Hong Kong was where I grew up. As a young British woman, I saw how the other half lived.

“You could live the affluent life of the Hong Kong Hilton but there was a lot of poverty too.”

Georgie lived and worked in many places including Munster in West Germany and Inverness in the north of Scotland.

Georgie also loved the military side of the nursing corps and was involved in a lot of training at the Queen Alexandra Training Centre in Aldershot. Whilst achieving the rank of Sergeant at a young age she realised that there was a whole big world to continue to explore as a civilian and left the army after serving nearly 10 years.

She eventually settled in the village of Brompton-on-Swale in North Yorkshire and furthered her nursing career. In addition to nursing, Georgie worked with adults with profound physical and mental disabilities.

In particular, she said she was proud of setting up a project for older people who were leaving long-term mental health institutions and an outreach service for adults with physical and learning difficulties.

She said: “Then I swapped Brompton-on-Swale for the River Lune and moved to Halton in 1999. At that time I worked at a school and with adults in nursing homes.”

Georgie decided to do a hypnotherapy course and part of it included advice on business and self-promotion. She chose to work as a hypnotherapist when she qualified in 2003 and set up her practice at her home in Halton.

She said: “As a nurse in the army, I was trained to look at the whole person.

“I think we are like a big onion. There are layers and layers of influences that mould us such as personal relationships and our experiences.”

In 2005 Georgie secured a post with CancerCare working as a hypnotherapist on a sessional basis.

All of the therapists at CancerCare are now are contracted and have more autonomy.

Georgie said: “It has been an evolution for me. There have been many transitions.”

Eventually Georgie took on the post of therapy co-ordinator as well as her hypnotherapy work.

She explained: “What I like about hypnotherapy is that it is calming for the client and for me.

“When I’m working with clients in a therapeutic setting, it’s very much a partnership. Every person who comes through the door has their own story.

“During referrals I gather information but during hypnotherapy it’s very different.

“It can be escapism for the client or a beautiful and relaxing visualisation. It can also be used for chronic problems such as sleep disturbance or anxiety.

“I often describe the mind as a big bucket. I can help people to empty some of the bucket out.

“Once people start talking and unpicking with someone who has a more objective view, they can start to think it’s not such a big deal after all.

“They have got some of the stuff that was making them feel overwhelmed out of the bucket.”

Georgie’s first big fundraising event will be a storytelling evening with acclaimed storyteller, Taffy Thomas, at the Red Door Café in Halton near Lancaster at 6pm on Thursday, November 9.

The event will include readings, music, a hotpot supper and the launch of Taffy’s new book - ‘The Riddle in the Tale: Riddles and Riddle Folk Tales’. Tickets are £15 including the hotpot supper and are available from Slynedales or call 01524 811891.

A Prize Bingo night will take place at 7pm on Friday, November 17, at Carnforth Ex-Servicemen’s Club on Scotland Road. Prizes include wine and chocolates, with prizes for every line and house. Tickets are available on the door for £5.

Georgie is also planning to have book sales at CancerCare, a fashion show at Morecambe Golf Club on February 28 and various other events. Further details will be shared when they are available.

Georgie has already increased her gym attendance and training for the trek, including more focus on strength and stamina but in January 2018 she will get out into the hills to practice more climbing in the fresh air.

Georgie added: “I love walking and nature so I am really looking forward to the trek.

“It won’t be easy; it will be 16km to 20km a day. I’m going to start training properly in January.

“I am lucky to be here and to be doing this when other people haven’t made it due to cancer.”

If anyone wishes to sponsor Georgie, please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/georgina-whittle

Ends

Photo caption: Georgie Whittle at a recent book sale to raise funds for her trek

Editor’s Notes

For further information please contact Ingrid Kent, Marketing and Communications Officer, CancerCare, Slynedales, Slyne Road, Lancaster, LA2 6ST

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 01524 381 820