A TEAM of 16 people battled soaring temperatures to trek more than 50km across the Sahara Desert for St Luke's Hospice.

The brave group endured gruelling conditions over a five day walk to raise more than £20,000 for the hospice – with more money set to be added to the total.

Debra Sloan, event fundraiser at St Luke's Hospice, helped to lead the group and was immensely proud of their achievement.

She told the Guardian: "It was hot – it was nice to get a shower after we finished.

"But it was a brilliant trip, a real privilege to do it, and just quite surreal.

"Everyone had their own reasons for doing it – two had lost their mums at quite a young age, one woman is a staff nurse at St Luke's, others simply wanted to challenge themselves while helping their local hospice.

"It really was an incredibly emotional and physically difficult journey for everyone."

Consisting of five men and 11 women aged from 21 to 73, the team landed in Marrakesh before enduring an 11-hour bus ride to the desert.

They were then met by a team of Berbers who ensured they kept safely on the right path and prepared traditional Moroccan food throughout their expedition.

The group also enjoyed camping under the stars, and witnessing the sun rising over the sand dunes.

The hospice's attention is now focused on a trek of the Great Wall of China in October 2018, with places now available.

For more information on taking part, visit stlukes-hospice.co.uk/greatwallofchina or call Debra on 01606 555685.