A SHAFTESBURY midwife will be trekking across Petra Desert next year in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for the Salisbury District Hospital’s Stars Appeal, but Covid-19 has halted her fundraising.

After joining other volunteers on the Stars Appeal trip to China last year, Elvie Pearson has signed up to the charity’s next adventure, taking place in April 2021.

The 64-year-old will be camping in Jordan for around two weeks with other fundraisers, and aims to raise around £1,700 which will match the cost of the trip.

“I loved my time to China, it was a great experience and we raised so much money,” Elvie said.

“I hardly travelled very much, [before China] I hadn’t been abroad outside of Europe before! Culturally China was so different, and I’m looking forward to doing something different again.”

Mindfulness sessions, bingo nights and selling cream teas were just some of Elvie’s fundraising plans, which have not been able to go ahead in the wake of the virus outbreak.

Instead, fundraisers have been busy moving their effort online through virtual events, including a geography picture quiz two weeks ago.

Elvie added: “It does seem a bit disengaged, but at least we can still fundraise, everyone is coming up with really creative ideas.”

As a midwife who regularly works in Salisbury District Hospital, and has benefitted from the equipment the hospital’s charity has provided in her line of work, Elvie said the impact of the Stars Appeal is “incredible”.

She said: “Stars Appeal does so much for the trust and it just funds so many things. When you’re walking around you see [Stars Appeal] stickers on so much equipment.

"It makes such a difference, everyone has been touched by the hospital in some way.

“From babies to cancer care, what the Stars Appeal offers the hospital makes life easier and a better experience.”

Talking about training in the lead up to the Petra trip, Elvie said that as lockdown measures continue to ease she will be meeting the other fundraisers for monthly walks.

“I’m not too worried, I’m out with the dog every day,” she added.

Elvie, who is a mother-of-four and has been a midwife in Shaftesbury for more than 20 years, is hoping to reach her fundraising target by December.

So far she has raised around £250 online. For more information and to donate visit Elvie's Just Giving page.