Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 11:44

Two charity fundraisers will be living in the heat of the Eden Project’s Rainforest Biome for a week in preparation for a Macmillan Cancer Support trek across the Sahara desert.

Jason Abbott, a site manager at Eden, and PC Antony Lobb of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, a former site manager, will be braving the tropical climate in the Biome – the world’s biggest greenhouse – from the morning of Monday August 31 to the evening of Friday September 4.

They aim to raise £2300 each - with 27 per cent covering the cost of their Sahara trek and the remaining 73 per cent (£3358) going to Macmillan. Any money raised beyond that figure will also go straight to Macmillan.

The Sahara Hiking Challenge will see the pair cover 100 kilometres (62 miles) of the Moroccan part of the desert over nine days from February 27 to March 7 next year. They will walk for eight hours a day against the stunning backdrop of the Atlas Mountains and will have to scale sand dunes up to 500 metres (1640 feet) high.

Jason said: “This trek will be a massive physical and mental challenge for us but we’re both very passionate about the cause and by staying in the Biome we hope to raise as much as possible for Macmillan’s valuable work.

“While the humidity of the Biome is a world away from the dry heat of the Sahara, it’s probably one of the warmest places in Cornwall so hopefully our stay will help us get used to the desert heat!”

Antony said: “I’m looking forward to coming back to Eden and trekking the Sahara will be the experience of a life time so I can’t wait to get out there.

“Both Jason and I have seen close family members suffer from cancer so Macmillan is a cause that’s very important to us. The Sahara will be amazing but the important thing is that we raise as much as we can for the amazing work Macmillan do.”

Jason and Antony will be discussing their trip with visitors during their stay and take donations from those who would like to support them. Anyone wishing to sponsor them who can’t make it to Eden can donate online at or

Jason and Antony have both done a lot of charity fundraising, including running the London Marathon together in 2007 for CLIC Sargent. Antony has travelled to Machu Picchu in Peru to raise money for Macmillan in October 2004 and last year Jason was part of an Eden team who completed the Three Peaks Challenge in support of the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line.

Money raised by Jason and Antony will be used to help fund specialist Macmillan nurses and doctors who deliver the best in cancer care, build vitally needed cancer care centres and give financial help to those who need it most.