In January a team of three fundraisers – Elizabeth, Tom and Sophie – took on the incredible challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro and chose to fundraise for Chance for Childhood at the same time, raising over an amazing £26,000! We caught up with them after the climb to find out what it was like:
Had you ever done anything like this before?
No, none of us had ever attempted anything like it and we are far from being experienced mountaineers. So, we were all quite nervous about the trip, as we didn’t really know what to expect, but excited nevertheless!
Why did you want to climb Kilimanjaro?
As explained above, we were part of a larger group and the trip was organised by friends. They contacted us to ask if we were interested in joining them and we thought ‘why not?!’ It seemed a fantastic opportunity to challenge ourselves and do so with family and friends.
Why did you choose to raise money for Chance for Childhood?
We initially hadn’t planned to fundraise for charity, but so many of our friends offered to sponsor us when they heard we were taking on Kili, we thought it would be a lost opportunity not to. We then spent a lot of time researching charities. We specifically wanted to support a charity that works in Africa, as a way of giving back. One of us met two of the crew from Team Abana, who had raised money for Chance for Childhood by cycling across Australia. Chance for Childhood clearly does much needed work in helping vulnerable children, so this personal recommendation from Team Abana settled the choice for us.
What was the toughest moment of the climb?
There were many tough moments. Simply the camping experience itself was a challenge! On our very first day we were walking in torrential rain for hours. It felt endless and it was very draining on morale to arrive at camp to no hot showers or home comforts and a soggy sleeping mat. The altitude also affected some of us more than others – there were tears! The climb to the summit was by far the most physically challenging aspect. We were climbing in bitterly strong winds and pitch darkness, meaning it was almost unbearably cold. Sophie was hit by a horrendous stomach bug that prevented her from reaching the summit, Elizabeth got extremely close before having to turn back, but Tom made it all the way!
What was the most rewarding moment of the climb?
But there were lots of positives! Being completely removed from the outside world was liberating. We had some fantastic views and bonded with the rest of our group over the experience. Reaching the end of the route was a wonderful feeling, knowing we had all pushed ourselves and would soon be rewarded with a hot shower!
Would you do it again?
This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Although we didn’t all make it to the summit, we wouldn’t try again. There are many other exciting adventures to be had.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of taking on a challenge for charity?
Go for it!
Would you like to take on a fundraising challenge for Chance for Childhood? Check out our challenge event places closer to home.