Two Southend nurses are set to tackle the Sahara desert to raise money for a local hospice.

Janet Taylor-Fane and Maureen Fitzpatrick, who work at Southend-based Fair Havens, will be flying to Morocco in March for a 60-mile Sahara trek, in conditions reaching highs of 40°C.

The money raised will support Havens Hospices' care of locals living with incurable conditions of all ages.

Janet, 48, who has been working for Havens Hospices for seven years, said: "I have never done anything like this before so I’m terrified.

"I know that in the difficult circumstances that we might face, we will have lots of memories of patients that we’ve nursed and have been a continued inspiration to me.

"I know that will be our strength to get across the finish line.

"This trek will test not only my physical fitness but also my mental endurance.

"Havens Hospices is a charity close to my heart - the charity plays such a vital role in our community, so I want to give back and raise awareness of the work we do and how vital donations are."

Adding to this extraordinary endeavour, Janet and Maureen will also be giving back to the community during their visit.

They will spend two days at a Community Project in Marrakech, getting involved with refurbishment, redecoration and gardening.

This work will support an organisation which helps vulnerable young people gain crucial educational opportunities and vocational training.

Janet and Maureen can be supported via their Just Giving page

Maureen, who has worked at Fair Havens for four months, said: "I’m doing the trek in memory of my sister and brother who inspired me to also work in palliative care and to be able to help make a difference in a patient’s last weeks and days.

"I’m very proud to be part of an amazing team and will look forward to coming back to share the amazing stories and memories of the trip.

"There is no better woman to do this challenge with than Janet.

"Every donation makes such a difference to Havens Hospices and local families, so please support us in any way you can."