Kilimanjaro Challenge Raises Incredible £70K for the Chiltern Centre

A team of 11 have just returned from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, raising vital funds for Henley charity, the Chiltern Centre for Disabled Children.

Kilimanjaro, standing at a massive 5,895m is Africa’s highest peak – climbing it is a huge challenge requiring immense reserves of physical and mental strength. The team of 11 ranging in age from 30-70 had been training tirelessly since signing up almost a year ago to ensure they were able to meet the challenge head on. But on top of the physical training they have also worked hard to raise huge sums for the Chiltern Centre. To date, they have raised over £70,000 between them, which is an incredible sum.

This money is absolutely vital to the Centre which needs to raise around £200,000 each year just to open its doors. The pressures that a family with a disabled child face can be immense and challenging. The Chiltern Centre gives families the chance to have a break from some of these pressures safe in the knowledge that their children are being looked after in a safe and caring home-from-home environment.

The team included a mother and daughter, a grandmother of 11, a mother and son, a newly engaged couple, 2 trustees from the Centre and was made up of a mix of long term supporters of the Centre and those who have only just discovered the work the Centre does. Veronica  Campbell comments, “I am so fortunate to have a large family and grandchildren all of whom are healthy.  The challenge that I will face is nothing compared to those of parents caring for a disabled child.”

The trip lasted 10 days with a gradual climb upover several days to ensure acclimitisation to the altititude, and was completed at sunrise. Yvette Kershaw another of the climbers summed up the experience, “The endurance element of the treking was probaby the hardest part and one I underestimated, especially with altitude, but the support provided by our guide, porters and team mates made it all achievable. The mountain and landscape was so beautiful and the sunrise from the summit was something that wil be hard to beat. It was an incredible experience and we were all so proud to raise a huge amount of money for the Chiltern Centre too.”

Harriet Barcella, community fundraiser at the Chiltern Centre says, “Most of the team have 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 of this and for their fundraising.”

Harriet continues, “This is the first challenge event that the Chiltern Centre has run, and on the back of its success we are launching our next expedition to trek to Petra (Jordan) in May 2020 and we invite anyone who has been inspired by this journey to find out more and join us on our next adventure.”   A summary of the amazing challenge is below, but get in touch to find out more. Once again, the trip will be supported by the wonderful team at 360 Expeditions www.360-expeditions.com

Petra, is one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World. On this trip there will be ancient trails which the nomadic Bedouin people and their livestock have travelled for generations. You’ll encounter hot springs, Roman remains, crusader castles, Neolithic houses and green valleys fed by crystal streams. At night, camp in Bedouin tents and feast by the campfire as the desert sky opens up to the stars. Entering the incredible city of Petra is the highlight of the expedition – the ancient capital of the Nabateans, age unknown but ‘half as old as time’, seems impossibly carved from the rock face.  As a special extra you visit Petra at night when it is beautifully lit by candlelight.

If you are interested in finding out more about this challenge please contact liz@chilterncentre.org.uk

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