Progress of the 2013 Event

Follow the progress of these amazing individuals who are participating in this arduous event in support of burn survivors. If you can’t participate in the event, but would like to make a donation,

Day 0: Sunday 17 November 2013, Arrival in Cape Town!

After many months of planning and preparation, the event finally gets underway! The team arrived in Cape Town on the morning of Sunday the 20th November in good spirits, after an all-night flight from London. After greeting some old acquaintances from Phoenix, checking their gear and posing for a group photo, the group set off on a four-hour journey from Cape Town to Knysna, with all their gear and bikes in tow.

Day 1: Monday 18 November – Bikers

The bikers set off this morning from Knysna fresh and energised. The first section was flat and somwhat deceiving for what lay ahead. We climbed many steep hills, which demanded a big effort from the from us all but the scenery was vast and beautiful and made it all the more exciting. The last leg was tiring but the first sight of the ocean gave us an extra push to make it to the wildnerness in good time. All safe and well for day 1. Laura

Day 2: Tuesday 19 November – Bikers

Day 2 started with a short climb to see a beautiful view of the town wilderness. We continued on tarmac at a steady pace grouping together a little more than yesterday and riding down some steep hills and back up again. Puff, puff- hard work! Sadly one man down before lunch and some bandaging required. Mark grazed his arm quite nastily but rejoined the team after lunch. Unfortuneatly ji came off her bike just before the river crossing and needed four stiches! But all ok. The river crossing was quite adventurous. No chance of riding across, we had to carry our bikes across…waist deep at some stages which caused one or two to fall in but we made it in the end and were blessed the other side with a wonderful view of three adult elephants. A wonderful site. Thunder and lightning came soon after… Luckily we made it back to the truck to be transferred to the Santos Express at Mossel Bay. Another 75km done. Laura

Meanwhile…. the hikers were winding their way along the coast towards Mossel Bay.

And just in case you thought this hike is a walk in the park…

Day 3: Wednesday 20 November – Bikers

Today was tough! This was the first day the wind had been a-problem – and not just a measly gust – it felt like a hurricane! The lowpoint was cycling up a never ending hill in hail/rain/pouring rain-It was like cycling up against a waterfall and the hills kept getting steeper and steeper! For the afternoon however, the sun came out and there was a (short) period where the wind was behind us…absolute bliss. But for the majority of the day we were fighting an oncoming wind which used twice the energy. I am praying that tomorrow is milder! Whilst transferring in the van we saw giraffes and saw a very bodged attempt at some workmen putting up Christmas lights. Our destination and overnight stop for day 3 is Albertina. Dinner was delicious – sampled some local delicacies including Ostrich Goulash followed by and early night! Sophie

Day 4: Thursday 21 November – Bikers

The Bikers began the day apprehensively after a difficult day on Day 3 due to horrific weather, but Day 4 looked much more promising. We managed a 20km stretch without too many nasty hills before a brief pause and then another bash until we reached Riversdale, where we had a brief break and refreshments! Little did we know that lunch was only 10k away! But having said that we still had to make it up the first of two very steep hills! What happened to no hills thursday!?? 🙂 After a good lunch we headed downhill and although warned by Steve, our guide, there were few tumbles, but all managed to get back on their bikes and carry on with a few cuts and bruises. The day’s cycle ended with a hard, steep climb to our overnight stop at Honeywood Farm. A beautiful place run by a husband and wife and perfectly situated on top of the hill. The views were divine! We had a braai, which was delicious. Everything homemade and eaten off the land. What a wonderful place. We must come back again! A great reward for a tough day. Laura

Day 5: Friday 22 November – Arrival in Cape Town

Both groups of hikers and bikers arrived in Cape Town on Friday 21 November. The teams celebrated their accomplishments in a dinner at the Africa Cafe in Cape Town, where they sampled a variety of African foods while reminiscing about the more colourful moments of their hike and bike journeys.

Day 6: Saturday 23 November – Visit to hospital and St Joseph’s Home for Children

Today the team got an opportunitiy to meet their beneficiaries. In the morning, the group visit the Burns Unit at Red Cross Hospital, where they learnt about the alarming incidence of paediatric burn injury in Cape Town and about the excellent medical treatment offered by the unit. The team also heard about the beneficial impact of an earlier donation by ABC to the unit of a state-of-the-art Humeca Dermatome. The team was able to interact with a number of the mothers of children in the ward through an interpreter and this gave them a sense of the particular socioeconomic context in which burn injuries occur.

Thereafter, the team visited St Josephs Home for Children, an organisation with which Phoenix has partnered to educate and care for children who have no stable home environment outside of hospital. The partnership with St Josephs allows these children to receive ongoing medical attendtion, but otherwise to experience life outsife of a hospital setting. This is one of Phoenix’s newest programmes – the Phoenix Education Fund – an it was made possible through the ABC Charity Challenge events of 2011 and 2012. Phoenix currently supports two children under this programme, with plenty of scope for gorowing the programme, as resources permit.

Day 7: Sunday 24 November – Returning home

Today the team began their journey home, with many fond memories of an incredible shared experience that they undertook to help those less fortunate than themselves.

On behalf of all burn survivors, a big THANK YOU to all who participated in the 2013 ABC Charity Challenge, and to all their supporters and sponsors who completed the journey with them in spirit.

The Gentlemen of St John’s, Cambridge

In Chelsea on September 28th at 7.30 pm, in aid of The Phoenix Burns Project, South Africa.

In Chelsea on September 28th at 7.30 pm

In aid of The Phoenix Burns Project, South Africa

The extraordinarily talented Gentlemen of St John’s College have kindly agreed to perform a concert in aid of our chosen charity this year, The Phoenix Burns Project, at St Peter’s Church, Eaton Square SW1W 9AL ( on Wednesday 28th September 2011 at 7.30 pm.

The Gentlemen of St John’s ( comprises the Choral Scholars of the world-renowned, Gramophone award-winning choir of St John’s College, University of Cambridge, and they have enjoyed an impressively busy schedule of concerts and recordings for over thirty-five years.  Aged between eighteen and twenty-three, The Gents sing in ‘A capella’, performing and recording sacred and secular music as well as many of their own arrangements of folksongs and close harmony versions of contemporary pop music and classic jazz stachorndards.  Last Christmas the Gents released a new CD, A Gentle Christmas, covering repertoire from Mouton to Wham! – a mix which has proved very popular! They will be singing a selection of contemporary and classical pieces throughout the evening and their concerts are always great fun!

James McDonald (whose son, Basil is one of the gentlemen) and I are also, along with several others, cycling 450 kilometres across South Africa in late October and simultaneously my wife Carolyn is leading a trek over a similarly challenging distance to raise funds for the vital work of this charity. The Phoenix Burns Project is a fantastic charity and works to reduce the long-term suffering of badly burnt or scalded children mainly through paraffin created, accidental fires and other burns and scalds created by, candles and hot water- all too common for children in the impoverished townships of South Africa. (

We would be delighted if you would join us for this special evening. We are asking for a minimum donation of £25 for each ticket. There will be refreshments in the concert interval and a Reception afterwards when South African wines and canapés will be served. The church is five minutes’ walk from Victoria Station.  This promises to be a lovely evening and I hope very much that you and friends will be able to come and support.  Tickets/sponsorship can be arranged using the sponsorship/order form below.

If you cannot come to the concert but would like to sponsor our cycle ride or hike then please visit Just Giving (referencing your name) or use the attached order form to send a donation.

Many thanks in advance

Mike Cripps