Kilimanjaro climbers raise huge total for Strathcarron Hospice

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A group of 19 trekkers have raised over £115,000 for a local hospice after climbing the world’s highest freestanding mountain.

The team spent five days trekking in challenging conditions and extreme temperatures to reach the summit of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro as the sun rose on September 26.

The phenomenal amount of money raised by the team, which supersedes all previous fundraising events, will now pay for more than eight days of care across all of Strathcarron’s services, including its 24 bed in-patient unit, day care, community clinical nurse specialists and Hospice@Home.

Claire Macdonald, fundraiser at the hospice, and one of the trekkers, said: “Kilimanjaro was more challenging than I ever could have imagined and it certainly was not a holiday.

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“To reach the final summit, we climbed for nine hours through the night, in the pitch black, with nothing but our head torches for light.

“We battled with extreme altitude sickness – many of us suffered severe headaches and were physically sick – and we had to contend with extreme temperatures too – even our water bottles froze!

“I think all that kept us going was the thought of the patients and families supported by the hospice.

“They too face incredibly difficult challenges on a daily basis, none of which they ask for.

“This challenge, for many of us, was a way to show our support and ensure that the hospice can continue to provide specialist care and support to local people when it is needed most.”

The team who took on the Kilimanjaro challenge alongside Claire, were Adie Shepherd, Stuart Scott, Tom Chambers, Ashleigh Smith, Graham Chambers, Lorna Sellwood, Laura Connelly, Georgia Jenkins, Stephen Carr, Heather Love, George White, Bobby Arbuckle, Jamie Hislop, Andy Allen, Marianne Stewart, Julia Foster, Ken Maclean and Alan Johnston.

The staff and volunteers at Strathcarron Hospice would like to thank the trekkers and everyone who has supported them on their incredible journey and helped raise the fantastic amount.