A Falkirk businesswoman is set to push herself to the absolute limit all in the name of charity.
Susan Arkley is gearing up to scale one of the highest mountains in the world later this year in order to raise funds for the Scottish Association of Mental Health.
Susan, who owns Falkirk-based telecoms company Source Telecom, is hoping to raise at least £2000 from her impressive challenge which will finish with her standing on top of Kilimanjaro .
She revealed the mountain climb will be tough physically but also emotionally. She said: “Five years ago at the age of 50 my uncle took his own life. It was a huge shock and absolutely devastating for his family and friends.”
Susan is a strong believer that mental health issues shouldn’t be kept secret and offhand remarks only serve to highlight how oblivious people are to the issues and how they do more harm than good.
The anniversary of her uncle’s death occurs during her climb to the summit of Africa’s tallest mountain.
She said: “I wanted to test myself and do something totally new and climbing mountains is certainly something I have ever done before.”
In preparation of her challenge Susan has been climbing Munro’s and most recently she reached Scotland’s highest point, Ben Nevis.
She said: “It was tough, my body is sore but it is fantastic preparation for Kilimanjaro.”
She has also been hitting the gym hard, attending classes but soon she will begin a new routine that will see her pump iron and use the cardio equipment five times a week.
With just ten weeks until Susan jets off Tanzania the businesswoman is a mixture of emotions.
“I am incredibly nervous but also really excited to get going.”
She has enlisted the expertise of Ian Taylor Trekking who will help guide the group to the top and will be joined on her trip by her friend Angela MacCann.
Susan will spent six days hiking up the mountain and just one and a half coming back down however she is not looking forward to the accommodation.
She said: “I am not a fan of camping and I like my luxuries so it will certainly push me to the limit, but I ma sure I will reach the top.”
To reach Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru Peal at 5895m, Susan will take the Lemosho route which is regarded as the most scenic and the best for acclimatisation.
“However, it will be an amazing experience.”
All the money raised from the charity climb will be donated to the Scottish Association of Mental Health.
To support her in her Kilimanjaro quest visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SusanandAngela.