A TRIO of fund-raisers have flown to Tanzania to begin their six-day trek to the summit of Africa’s highest mountain.
Richard Langdon, Graham Duncan and David Hardy will climb 19,341 feet up Mount Kilimanjaro, to raise much-needed cash for St Cuthbert’s Hopsice, in Durham.
So far, £20,000 has been raised from the expedition, which will contribute towards the £1.2million needed each year to run the hospice.
Graham, 31, said: “I’m really looking forward to the trek. It’s taken months of hard work to raise the funds but I’m over the moon with the amount we’ve raised.
“St Cuthbert’s looked after my mum in her final days and I have always wanted to give something back for the care we received.”
The group have been training hard, both mentally and physically, to prepare themselves for the challenge ahead.
Their trek will see them facing high altitude, unsettled weather conditions and gruelling physical challenges, but the team are determined to reach the summit for the hospice.
Retired solicitor Richard Langdon added: “We’ve just got to walk slowly and know that our equipment is going to keep us warm.
“It’s tropical down at the bottom, but it’s about -15 ºC at the top.
“We’re going to be absolutely knackered, our knees will be shot, we’ll have black toes, but it will be a good feeling. We’ll have raised the money.”
The Merryoaks-based hospice will use the cash raised to provide free services to people with life-limitting illnesses and their families.
St Cuthbert’s development manager, Laura Barker, praised the trio.
She said: “The amount of determination that the group have shown in raising funds and training for this challenge has been phenomenal.”
Mount Kilimanjiro is a dormant volcano in the north east of Tanzania. At 19,341 feet above sea level, it is the highest freestanding mountain in the world.