Rotarian takes on 250km Arctic journey for giggle doctors cause

A giggle doctor entertains a sick child. They are provided by Theodora Children's Trust. Halifax Rotarian Ken Robertshaw is raising money for the trust with a 250km husky sled trek from Norway to Sweden.
A giggle doctor entertains a sick child. They are provided by Theodora Children's Trust. Halifax Rotarian Ken Robertshaw is raising money for the trust with a 250km husky sled trek from Norway to Sweden.

TRAVELLING 250km in temperatures of minus 25C is no laughing matter.

But one Rotarian is hoping he’ll be able to put smiles on sick children’s faces thanks to his fundraising efforts.

Ken Robertshaw is doing a 250km trek in Sweden on a Husky sled

Ken Robertshaw is doing a 250km trek in Sweden on a Husky sled

Ken Robertshaw, 56, aims to raise at least £10,000 for the Theodora Children’s Trust, which places ‘giggle doctors’ in hospitals across the country.

The ‘doctors’ are trained actors who go into wards across the country and bring a smile to the faces of ill youngsters.

The former police officer will travel 250km in six days from Tromso, Norway, to Kiruna, Sweden.

The route is 350km above the Arctic Circle.

“It’s one of the northern most cities in Europe,” said Ken.

“Temperatures in the day can be quite pleasant but but at night it drops to minus 25C.”

Pauline, Ken’s wife, said: “I’m a bit worried but it’s something he really wants to do and I’ll support him in whatever he wants to do.”

Ken said he has always been fascinated by the Poles thanks to an uncle who lived in Alaska.

“I was always reading about the Poles as a child so when this chance came along I thought I have to have a go,” he said.

He became interested in the Theodara Children’s Trust’s work during his time as Rotary Club District Governor of Yorkshire.

“They are professional entertainers and the charity trains them specifically to work with terminally ill children and any child,” explained Ken.

“As well as doing the training it involves being able to work with hospital staff and it’s tailored to each child.”

He is well on the way to his target having already gained £6,000.

The trip starts on March 23 and Ken aims to cover between 40km and 50km for six days.

“I had to pass a medical and I’ve had to grow a beard for it but I don’t have to lose anything off my midriff because you need the fat reserves.

“Your body burns 7,000 calories a day over there.”

He will be back in Halifax by March 31.

Ken’s sponsor page can be found at www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/dogsledchallenge.