Friday, 29 May 2020

Volunteers raise £70,000 by climbing Mt Kilimanjaro

Volunteers raise £70,000 by climbing Mt Kilimanjaro

A TEAM of 11 volunteers raised £70,000 for the Chiltern Centre for disabled children in Henley by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

The climbers included Henley residents Yvette Kershaw, Nick Steel, Nigel Reading, Ian Gallifant and Shlomo Manheim.

They followed the Lemosho route to the summit of the mountain, which is Africa’s highest peak at 19,340ft, during the 10-day expedition. This included arid lowlands, the Shira Plateau moorlands and the Barranco Wall, an exposed 1,000ft climb.

On the way back down the group passed through lush tropical rainforests crowded with monkeys and butterflies.

Each team member had trained for almost a year, completing walks together on Mount Snowden in north Wales and Box Hill in Surrey.

Mrs Kershaw said: “The endurance element of the trek was probaby the hardest part and one I underestimated, especially the altitude, but the support provided by our guide, porters and team-mates made it all achievable.

“The mountain and landscape were so beautiful and seeing the sunrise from the summit was something that will be hard to beat. It was an incredible experience and we were all so proud to raise a huge amount of money.”

Fellow climber Veronica Campbell said: “I am so fortunate to have a large family and grandchildren, all of whom are healthy. The challenge that I faced is nothing compared with those of parents caring for a disabled child.”

Harriet Barcella, community fund-raiser at the Chiltern Centre, said: “Most of the team had never done anything like this before.

“There were so many challenges for them — the culture shock, the temperature extremes, the long days, the camping and the altitude.

“We are so incredibly grateful to each and every one of them for their commitment to taking on all this and for their fund-raising.”

The money will support the centre, which gives families with disabled children a chance to have a break while their children receive care. It needs to raise around £200,000 every year to stay open.

The charity is now organising a fund-raising expedition to Petra in Jordan in May next year.

For information or to volunteer, email liz@chilterncentre.org.uk

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