West Sussex group ready to tackle Kilimanjaro climb

28Dec 2019
The Guardian
West Sussex group ready to tackle Kilimanjaro climb

A group of climbers will ring in the New Year tackling one of the world's most famous mountains in aid of an inspirational West Sussex cause.

BY Ryan Burrows

The group are setting off for Mount Kilimanjaro and are expected to take four days to reach the summit in Tanzania - in time to ring in 2020.

Those taking part will have to brave sub-zero temperatures and altitude sickness on their journey to the top of the almost 6,000 metre high mountain, the highest on the continent of Africa.

Money raised from the climb will go to St Wilfrid's Hospice, which helps those across West Sussex with a range of life-limiting conditions.

Spirit FM's managing director Sally Austin is among those taking part in the climb: "Some of the people I've spoken to that have done it before have literally said it's one step, one breath and it's really hard to get your breath when you're that near the top, because it's just under 6,000 metres.

"To be doing something that I have no control is something that is well out of my comfort zone, it's something I'm losing sleep over because I just don't want to let anybody down."

The group's inspiration for the challenge came from the 'Do Something' movement, set up by Spirit FM Local Heroes Award winner Haydn Walden.

Haydn was inspired to set up the movement after suffering three tragic bereavements in the space of just a few years.

Meet the man honoured for bravery at Spirit FM's Local Hero Awards

"The Do Something movement originally came around after the tragic loss of my second daughter, Meisee. It became a necessity for my own mental well being when I lost my wife, Laura, only 9 months later.

​"Left with nothing, I started using #DoSomething on social media to help keep myself accountable on a daily basis. Little did I know that my drive to get up and Do Something each day would affect others around me so positively.  The idea that, no matter how depressed or low you feel in life, no matter how broken you are, you can Do Something positive. And that may change your life. "Will you join me? Will you get up and Do Something?” says Haydn Walden

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