A CHARITY champion has returned home after conquering a jungle challenge in aid of a charity.

Jackie Wicks was part of a 32-strong group who took part in Dream Challenges Britain V Cancer quest through jungle territory and traditional Cambodian villages en route to a spectacular finish line at the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat.

Jackie, who self-funded her participation, has smashed her £1,000 target she hoped to raise for Ark Cancer Centre Charity by taking on the challenge.

During the five-day trek, veterinary receptionist Jackie slept on the jungle floor, and ended up sampling tarantula, scorpion and spider samosa in a bug café.

The 48-year-old mum, from Goodman Close, said: “It was a hot and very humid trekking adventure. The highlight was seeing the amazing temples, including one that featured in the Lara Croft movie. It is a very poor country, but the people were all lovely, and the tourism industry is certainly taking off.

“I always try to find a local good cause to support, and I am delighted to have raised funds for Ark Cancer Centre Charity this time. I’m thrilled to have smashed my £1,000 target –thank you so much to everyone who has supported my fundraising.”

Jackie, who has been well-supported by her employer GP Vets, of Worting Road, Basingstoke, raised money through sponsorship support and also through other events during 2018, including cake sales and a quiz.

Mark Jones, director of fundraising and communications for Ark Cancer Centre Charity, said: “Congratulations to Jackie on her jungle trek achievement. She trained hard for this challenge, and it is great news that she has smashed her fundraising target. Her support for Ark and the cancer treatment centre project is much appreciated.”

Ark’s £5m appeal will ensure a range of support services and complementary therapies are available alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments at the Basingstoke hospital site.