AN event florist from Vernham Dean is tackling a multi-day survival challenge to raise money for charity.

Sarah Elsey, 34, is taking on the Castaway Survival Challenge to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

Sarah is undertaking the challenge in honour of her father, the late Major Stephen Elsey who passed away in 2014 at the age of 59.

The event florist explained: “My dad was in the military from a very young age, up until he retired.

“A lot of people who leave the military after being in for so long struggle to find their place once they leave the military, it’s a big change, and he finally settled in a role working for the British Legion, and he was very passionate about it.

“He loved helping people within that role, and since he passed away, I’ve done numerous things in memory of him to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.”

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Sarah has previous experience with raising funds for RBL, having previously completed a half-marathon and a Poppy Walk to raise money for the charity.

But this is the first time she has attempted this sort of challenge.

The Castaway Survival Challenge involves participants travelling to a remote location in the Lake District and learning skills from a survival expert, completing a plethora of challenges along the way.

She said: “I’m going into this with not much knowledge, I’ve never done wild camping and there might be people going into it with a lot more experience.

“But I’m doing it very much out of my comfort zone.

“It’s not something that I do every weekend, and I will find it hard and tricky to complete.”

Sarah has a fundraising target of £575.

At time of writing, she has raised £280.

Sarah said that she would feel “ecstatic” if she managed to reach her total and wanted to thank those who have already donated to her campaign, saying: “Everyone has been very supportive.

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“I know times are tight, with money increases and things, so it’s even more of a kind, thoughtful gesture knowing that people are still willing to donate, that people are still willing to be so generous when times are tricky.”

She continued: “Dad loved working with the Royal British Legion so much.

“If I can support the Royal British Legion in a way that Dad would have continued to do, then his legacy lives on.”

To donate to Sarah’s fundraiser, or to find out more information about the Castaway Survival Challenge, visit

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