A doctor who helps bring peace and comfort to people at the end of their lives is fundraising for Isabel Hospice so more people can benefit from the expert, compassionate care and support the team provides each day to patients and their families.

This year, Isabel Hospice is marking its 40th anniversary, and Dr Karen Bartlam is one of nine people who have signed up to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of the palliative and end-of-life-care charity in its milestone year.

She will be embarking on the epic seven-day challenge on October 6 alongside her husband Martin, trekking for up to eight hours a day, at altitudes of up to 5,895m in an attempt to reach the summit of Africa’s highest peak.

The couple, who live in St Albans, hope to raise £7,000 for the Hospice, which needs to raise £7 million every year to guarantee the future of its free palliative services.

Karen said: “It’s a big year for the Hospice, being our 40th anniversary, and I thought there was no better time to raise money and awareness of the Hospice’s work and the care we provide.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to challenge ourselves with a group of like-minded people for a really wonderful cause, and one I am personally passionate about.

"It’s also given me a new appreciation of all the people out there who are trying their best to fundraise for us in whatever way they can in support of our charity.”

The mum-of-three has worked at the Hospice’s In-Patient Unit for four years, helping people with life-limiting conditions, such as cancer, live as pain- and symptom-free as possible so they can make the most of the time they have left, and die with dignity.

She is part of a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses, therapists and healthcare assistants, support staff and volunteers who provide care and support to people at the Hospice, out in the community and in people’s own homes.

“We are there for people during life’s toughest times,” she said. “We can’t necessarily change the outcome, but we can influence the journey and it’s our job to shine a bit of light into the darkness.

"That care and support is so important, and really can make such a difference to what people are going through.

"Contrary to belief, the Hospice is a very positive place and we try to bring some peace in whatever way we can.

"I know the impact the funds raised from this challenge will have, because I get to see that first-hand every day, and that’s a very privileged position to be in.”

You can help Karen and Martin reach their £7,000 target by sponsoring them here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Karen-Bartlam1.