Fran Joel often tells her adult children “You can do anything,” and following her own advice, she booked a once in a lifetime trip to do the Inca Trail Trek, taking her children and niece along for the ride.
“Recently, things had happened in my life that changed my perspective on everything”, Fran says.
For years, Fran worked for Sheffield Cathedral, so she often had a front-row seat watching the work The Archer Project does.
“I met a man who had previously been homeless but was now working for The Archer Project in a paid position and since then I decided I’d love to become a trustee.”
Upon leaving her position at Sheffield Cathedral Fran became a trustee.
“When I became a trustee I thought, I want to be a trustee that does something.”
So, Fran browsed through the events section of our website and decided the Inca Trail was it.
“Why not?,” she thought, “I wanted to give my children the attitude of ‘You can make it happen,’ which is something a lot of homeless people have never been told.”
Fran’s exciting challenge takes place in July 2022, so the whole family are currently training to ensure they are ready to climb up to the height of 4,200 metres. Son, Albert, has already climbed Kilimanjaro, the highest single free-standing mountain in the world, so he already has some experience under his belt.
Fran has enlisted the help of Pete from The Fitness Truck, a mobile gym in South Yorkshire. They offer mobile personal training and Fran is working out multiple times per week to make sure she’s in peak condition to take on Peru’s mountains.
“We’ve been training Fran for over six years now, for 10k’s and Half marathons. We know without a doubt that she's going to do this. She’s never done anything like this before so we know it will be both a mental and physical challenge, but that’s where we can help. We’re currently training her to condition her mind and body and give her the confidence to go all the way,” says Pete.
As well as training from The Fitness Truck, she’s also got Guy from Katie Bell Physio on hand to make sure she stays as physically well as possible.
The Inca Trail Trek will include five days of hard camping with no electricity or mobile phones. They’ll be swapping daily showers for wet wipes and dry shampoo, but Fran says it is all part of the fun.
“I know, I’ll do it, and I know it will be great fun, even if I do hate insects and camping!”
If you would like to support Fran and her family on their fabulous journey, please visit her Just Giving page here. Every penny you donate goes to helping us to change the lives of homeless and vulnerable people in Sheffield and the surrounding areas.