Fresh from last year's successful ascent of the British 3 peaks in under 24 hours in aid of Open Arms International and Primrose House Trust, Tim Bell, General Manger of Lancaster House has once again set his sights on another epic mountain challenge for charity. In September he will be attempting to climb the world's largest free-standing mountain, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. At 19,340ft the famous African peak is considered one of the world's most gruelling physical challenges, with climbers having to combat not only the sheer height of the mountain, but also the dramatic and potentially life-threatening effects of altitude which ultimately cause more people to fail than actually succeed.
As with the successful 3-peaks challenge of 2010, Tim is once again accompanied by his sister and leading Cumbrian paramedic, Amanda Singleton, and for this year's trek is also being joined by Nichola-Jayne Harrison, a member Food & Beverage team at Lancaster House. All 3 volunteers are raising money for Children Today which provides life-changing equipment for severely disabled children in the local area.
Despite the enormity of the challenge and the fundraising targets, Tim, who spends the majority of his free time climbing the many Lakeland summits on his days off, remains typically positive and upbeat about his chances of success. "The opportunity to conquer one of the world's biggest mountains and at the same time make a real and very positive difference to the quality of life for disabled children here in Lancashire was just too good an opportunity to turn down. I know that the very tallest of Lakeland peaks pail into insignificance compared to Kilimanjaro, but I consider myself very fortunate to live on the doorstep of Britain's best training ground for such a challenge. The only thing we can't prepare for is the altitude, and with temperatures ranging from 30 degrees C at the base to Minus 25 at the summit, we are in no doubt that our mental and physical capabilities are going to be tested to the very limit"
"But all three of us are very head-strong, determined people and we are not going to let our Charity down. Failure isn't an option for us, and we're training hard, climbing the Lake District fells at every given opportunity, whatever the weather, which in true Cumbrian style, can be very challenging even at the best of times. I'm donating over £1000 to the fundraising myself and am also giving up my beloved annual holiday to do this challenge. There's no sun, sand and sangria for me this year. Just boots, blisters and backpacks. So, I have no intention of stopping until I reach that summit"
Each team member has to raise £3000 for Children Today with 80% of the target required 12 weeks prior to their departure for Africa. Tim continues "We hope that people can dig deep and support our effort. Children Today really does make a difference to local kids, and we're 100% all confident we won't let our supporters down. We're putting our heart and soul into this, giving up all our free-time to train, and we're hoping to reward our chosen charity and our kind donators with an effort we can all be proud of. And with Lancaster House celebrating its 20th year, I think this is a great way to mark our birthday in style"
You can pledge online on both Tim and Nichola's JustGiving pages. You can also follow the team's progress via their facebook page and via Tim's regular blogs.
Everyone at English Lakes wishes Tim, Amanda and Nichola all the very best of luck with their Kilimanjaro challenge and we will of course update you on their progress.