FOUR staff from Airedale Hospital children's ward tackled a gruelling trek to fund improvements to the unit's outdoor play area.

The quartet – Rebecca Bell, Kirsty Randell, Kim Varey and Suzi Vogt – took on the Inca Trail, in Peru.

Trekking 46 kilometres over four days, at an altitude of more than 4,000 metres, the team smashed its £5,000 fundraising target – coining in over £7,500.

And people can still donate, at

Rebecca, a staff nurse on Ward 17, says: "It was a truly amazing experience – we couldn't quite believe we were really doing it!

"There were a couple of tough moments for the team, but we all pulled together and kept each other motivated, and it was 100 per cent worth it – Machu Picchu is breathtaking! We had so many laughs and met some incredible people.

"The Inca Trail has always been high on my bucket list, and doing it for charity was a bonus.

"After working on the ward for over eight years, I've seen the fun and happiness the children have in the outside play area, so if we can improve it in any way I believe it will have a positive impact."

Kirsty, matron on the ward, says: "We're very fortunate to have an outside courtyard that allows children to undertake play activities. Unfortunately, the area is tired and dated and is in need of a refresh to make it inviting and exciting for the children to use again.

"This is the reason that we decided to challenge ourselves to walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Each of us faced different personal challenges whilst doing the walk, but we supported each other to achieve our goal."

They were accompanied on their trek by Hiram, a llama mascot.

Tribute is paid to the team by Jodie Hearnshaw, manager of Airedale Hospital and Community Charity.

She says: "We were really excited when we spoke to the team and heard about its plans.

"For them to take on this bucket list challenge was incredible, but to raise money for Airedale and their own patients at the same time was truly heartwarming.

"We are extremely grateful to the team members for their hard work and are looking forward to helping them see the results of their fundraising take shape."

For more about Airedale Hospital and Community Charity and its fundraising activities, visit or email