Norwood challengers raise £30,000 for vital services with spectacular Dracula Trek challenge across Transylvania

13 July 2017

A dozen brave Norwood challengers have returned to the UK after trekking 33km, across challenging terrain and during some of the hottest days in Romanian history (up to 43 degrees Celsius), to raise vital funds for the charity’s services.

The trek, from 29 June to 3 July, was the second Norwood has undertaken in the unspoiled Transylvanian region of Romania and raised £30,000 that will be invested in new pioneering projects similar to the new assistive technology-led site at Lyonsdown Road.

The Dracula Trek is part of Norwood’s 25-year anniversary programme of challenges, taking in Kerala in India and culminating in four spectacular challenges in Israel from 15-22 October, where all roads lead to Eilat for a special celebration of a quarter of a century of Norwood Challenges. The challenges are a key component of Norwood’s fundraising efforts that are needed to meet the charity’s target of £12m for 2017.

Long-term Norwood challenger and supporter Ian Fagelson led the excursion; ably assisted by group doctor Pat Heath and two local guides. Trekkers also included two members of Norwood staff – Marketing Manager David Souza and Head of Events Candice Mendes da Costa.

Highlights of the trek included medieval Bran Castle, the spectacular views, seeing bears and wolves in their natural habitat and the stunning and unspoiled countryside of Transylvania itself. Trekkers also took on a daunting rope-assisted climb of Mica Peak, proving that this challenge was anything but pedestrian.

Norwood Marketing Manager and trekker David Souza said: “It was an amazing experience – one which combined the thrill of adventure with the pride of charitable giving. The experience was unforgettable.”

Candice agreed. “It was one of the best experiences of my life and in such a beautiful country. It definitely was a challenge, but I felt such a sense of achievement, especially while raising vital funds for Norwood.”

Ian Tate, head of Challenges and Donor Care, Norwood, said: “We are exceptionally proud of all our challengers and grateful for their incredible efforts on behalf of the charity. The funds raised will go to help so many children and families in need of the services provided by Norwood. We are pleased that our first trip to Romania was a success and now we are looking forward to our other international challenges in Kerala and Israel in October.”

Anyone interested in taking part in a Norwood Challenge can visit the website here.

Further information

For further information please contact Norwood press team:
By email:
By phone: 020 8420 6266 or 07736 458532

More images are available upon request

About Norwood Challenges

In 2017 Norwood is celebrating 25 years of organising challenges – from cycling in South Africa to trekking in Iceland. It was the first charity in the UK to introduce the charity cycle challenge and has been attracting participants to our rides and treks ever since.

Norwood has taken thousands of challenge participants all over the world, testing their levels of endurance to the limit, giving them the chance to achieve something spectacular, as well as making friendships and memories to last a lifetime.

The charity’s challenge participants, who range in age from 18 to 82, have been inspired to raise millions of pounds to support our work with thousands of vulnerable children and their families, children with special educational needs and adults with learning disabilities every year.

Many have said that getting the chance to cycle alongside some of the people supported by Norwood made the experience even more memorable.

About Norwood

Norwood is the largest Jewish charity in the UK supporting vulnerable children and their families, children with special educational needs and people with learning disabilities.

Founded in 1795, Norwood is one of the UK’s oldest charities and the only Jewish charity to enjoy the Patronage of Her Majesty The Queen. It helps children and adults to maximise their potential at home, at school and throughout their lives, through personalised services designed to enable choice.