15 trekkers all bidding to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro on behalf of a children’s autism charity have enjoyed a final banquet before putting on their walking boots.
The charity trekkers, who will be taking part in the expedition to climb the 19,000ft Tanzania mountain on behalf of Daisy Chain, enjoyed a three course meal with friends and family as a collective farewell.
More than 60 supporters attended the evening, organised by the Norton-based charity which provides a range of services and support for families affected by autism at The Thistle Hotel in Middlesbrough.
Collectively the trekkers, who climb the world’s largest freestanding volcano, have already raised more than £20,000 in fundraising.
Matt Simpson, chief executive of Daisy Chain, who only two weeks ago signed up to take part in the expedition because it was undersubscribed due to last minute drop outs and injuries is gearing up for the climb: “It was great for all of the climbers to enjoy a collective farewell evening with families and friends, everyone is prepared for the challenge ahead now.
“Climbing Kilimanjaro is no easy feat and is not a challenge to be taken on lightly so we are grateful to all the walkers for going this extra mile for us - I can’t wait to stand at the top of the summit with them all.”
The eight day climb will involve the walkers following the Lemosho Glades route to the snow-capped summit and contending with difficult terrain, weather conditions and altitude.
The group of trekkers is made up of Neil Jake Carter, Kevin Green, David Hall, Feye Higgins, Ann Hallet, Clair Hebbron, Daniel Hutchins, Marc Jones, Jed Lester, Nigel
Peacock, Katrina Rosser, Richard Slee, Callum Smith, Judith Simpson and Matt Simpson.
Father of one Kevin Green, 44, from Billingham. was inspired to take on the challenge and support the charity due to its work in the region. As a professional trainer, speaker and coach Kevin is also a member of Friends of Daisy Chain, a group which nurtures the relationships of businesses in the region that support the charity project.
“I have always been an avid supporter of the charity as it does so much for families across the region. The charity has also supported my business significantly as a member of Friends of Daisy Chain so I thought it was a great way for me to pay something back.
“I’ve always been someone that can’t get anywhere quickly but I do always seem to be able to keep moving forward so I’m sure I’m going to be one of the slowest up the mountain but my goal is to get to the top.
“I am mostly looking forward to the views, scenery and of course hitting the summit. I think there will be some great bonding with the other climbers as we all go through some painful days together. I am dreading experiencing any altitude sickness. It’s not something you can train for and it seems to affect some people and not others.”
Kevin has been fundraising continuously during the build-up to the challenge and has already raised more than £3600. In January he held a charity night at The HUB within Teesside University, which included a performance from professional comedian, Neil Shackleton, who gave up his time for free to raise money. The evening’s entertainment also included a disco, games and a ‘keepy-uppy’ competition between a former Derby County and Coventry City footballer, Anthony Graham, and son, Jordan, who plays for Aston Villa.
For further information about Daisy Chain or to find out more about taking part in future expeditions please call the fundraising team on 01642 531248 or email email@example.com.