Treena’s Great Wall of China Adventure

Acorns China Lead representative Treena Barnes with daughter Jade, before their 10 mile “training” walk…

Well folks let me introduce myself. My name is Katreena Barnes, or Treena to most people, and I am the Volunteers Manager at Acorns Children’s Hospice in the Three Counties having joined this fantastic hospice almost 14 years ago now.

So when Acorns started advertising for a staff representative on their Great Wall of China Trek, I just knew I had to apply. Unbelievably I was then selected and I feel utterly excited and so privileged to be offered the position as Acorns China Lead representative. AMAZING!!!

I am so very passionate about the care and support Acorns offers to the families that I know I will give this challenge my all (already I’m thinking OMG what have you done)! I adore the work I do for Acorns, not only do I manage a group of amazing people who give their time to our charity but are so passionate about it to.

But sadly you never know when tragedy will strike your own family or friends, the feeling of which I can’t describe other than feeling very numb when my niece was born and after many months in hospital and operations she was referred to Acorns. She is still a client of Acorns but wonderfully doing very well. So I have a very personal reason and passion to want to represent Acorns on this once in a lifetime opportunity and to continue the awareness which will encourage people to feel as passionate as I am to raise the funds for this, our charity.

So it begins…in late February my husband Tim, daughter Jade and I set off to walk the entire length of the Malvern Hills, 10 miles, yes the lot, every up, down and sneak around the side. I thought ‘ahh how hard can that be, I’m reasonably fit’ HA!! Well you will be pleased to know we made it!! The sun was shining and the hills were abundant with walkers, you could feel the happiness from them all. Just feeling the sun on your face really lifts you. But when we hit the top of the Beacon the highest point of the hills wow did the wind hit, but by this time it was later in the afternoon so I will forgive the weather! 75% of the way along we did manage to stop off for a bit of lunch so it wasn’t all hardship, but I won’t be recommending this to my fellow trekkers on their first training walk. I will be recommending for them to break themselves in gently!

When Monday came, I couldn’t even roll out of bed! Determined not to give in I moaned, groaned and plopped onto the floor where Tim proceeded to hoist me up in Tim style, offering no words of encouragement, more of “what wrong with you, come on your made of stronger stuff than this”. But I fought through like a real trooper and went to fit camp that evening, get me.

Follow our Trekkers journey as they build up to the Acorns China Trek on 5th – 13th October this year!