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Regional press couple to undertake charity desert trek

A charity desert trek is set to be undertaken by a regional daily political editor and his partner along with a former colleague of theirs.

The Derby Telegraph’s Chris Mallett and the newspaper’s former content editor Rachel Butler are set to traverse part of the Sahara Desert to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Rachel’s grandmother has Alzheimer’s, while Chris’s grandmother had dementia before her death in January 2015.

The seven-day challenge will take the fund-raisers over the dunes in Morocco from Ouarzazate to Marrakech, walking for up to seven hours a day in heat of up to 40C.

Chris, left, and Rachel, right, with Eddie Rathour, of sponsor The Fat Cat bar

Chris, left, and Rachel, right, with Eddie Rathour, of sponsor The Fat Cat bar

Nights during the hike, starting on Saturday 27 February, will see temperatures plunging to below freezing.

The pair will be joined on the trek by former Telegraph reporter Ed Hill and his partner Jo Burgess, who has also had family members affected by Alzheimer’s.

Rachel, 28, worked at the Derby Telegraph from 2010 before leaving last year to work as Midlands press officer for the RSPCA.

She said: “Mentally and physically, it will challenge us but that’s what we want to do – push ourselves to raise money for a charity which is close to our hearts.

“Alzheimer’s is more than just memory loss. It is a disease which gradually takes away a loved one from you so that you grieve for them while they are still alive.”

Of his grandmother, Chris, 32, said: “While she retained her sense of humour until near the end of her life, she would often forget what had been said to her just a few minutes beforehand.

“Given that people are living longer than ever before, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are going to be an unwelcome part of more and more peoples’ lives in the future so work to help families affected by it is really important.”

The quartet are being sponsored by Derby bar The Fat Cat, while a web page has also been set up for people to donate to their cause.


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  • January 6, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Good luck to them. Better than sitting around a newspaper office in terms of life experience

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  • January 6, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Great cause, but someone needs to work out the numbers in the intro as after reading the story I’m confused as to how many people are actually going on the trek and who is in a relationship with who.

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