Couple’s quest to help quake-hit Nepal

Aiden Tate and girlfriend Natalie Hulme from Hindley
Aiden Tate and girlfriend Natalie Hulme from Hindley

A couple will swap Hindley for the Himalayas when they leave life in the borough behind to help rebuild areas devastated by an earthquake.

Aiden Tate and his partner Natalie Hulme are giving up their jobs and most of their possessions to travel to Nepal to spend two months working with disaster relief charity All Hands.

The initial feeling was excitement but this is the time you think about it and get nervous because we are leaving everything we are used to and everything we know

Aiden Tate

Aiden, 24, and Natalie, 22, will be based in a small town four hours from the capital city Kathmandu and will help to clear away rubble and construct new buildings to replace those destroyed last year by the devastating quake, which measured a massive 7.8 on the Richter scale and killed around 8,000 people.

Aiden says he and Natalie, who currently work in sales in account management and recruitment respectively, wanted to combine their passion for helping others with their love of travel in the most

profitable way possible.

They have done plenty of charity work in the UK but say this is by far the most ambitious project they have ever signed up for - and with less than a fortnight to go until they fly admit the nerves are kicking in.

Former Hindley High School and Winstanley College student Aiden said: “We both wanted to do more for charity.

“But we also wanted an adventure, and finding All Hands allows us to combine the two.

“The initial feeling was excitement but this is the time you think about it and get nervous because we are leaving everything we are used to and everything we know.

“I’ve now sold my car, we’ve handed our notice in for our jobs and we’re slowly getting to the point where we will be going to the other side of the world.”

As well as carrying out rebuilding and relief work Aiden hopes to put the photography and video skills he learned at Manchester Metropolitan University to use in Nepal creating videos to raise awareness of All Hands’ work.

Natalie, who studied at Leeds University, also has a qualification to teach English as a foreign language and hopes to spend some time in Nepalese classrooms.

All Hands works in disaster zones across the work rebuilding shattered infrastructure, interacting with schools and other community groups and supporting people to put their lives back on track.

Aiden and Natalie will fly out to India and spend 10 days there before going to Nepal on September 22 to begin their stint working for All Hands.

They have initially signed up for two months but have three-month visas for the country and the option to extend their stay.

The couple will join other All Hands workers in an old hotel where they will sleep on mattresses on the floor,

but say they are actually relishing the chance to experience a totally different way of life.

Aiden said: “We wanted to get away from our desks and experience a simpler way of life while giving back to a community which has been devastated.

“We wanted to step away from this nine-to-five life.”

Aiden and Natalie are also fund-raising for All Hands to give something back to the charity for covering the cost of supporting them during their time in Nepal.

More than 20,000 people were also injured in the quake of April last year.

It was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934.

Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless with entire villages flattened,across many districts of the country. Centuries-old buildings were destroyed at UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley.

The area was plagued with numerous aftershocks, one of which claimed hundreds more lives.

The clear-up and re-building operation is expected to take many years.

For more information about Aiden and Natalie’s mission, visit www.gofundme.com/2k9tcqdw