Mount Kilimanjaro climb for Sussex charities

Chris and Elaine Goodman of Focus Group with James Bloomfield from St Wilfrids Hospice
Chris and Elaine Goodman of Focus Group with James Bloomfield from St Wilfrids Hospice

Businesses across Sussex have teamed up to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for charity.

The African adventure has already raised more than £20,000, which will be divided among various charities, including Chestnut Tree House, Ronald McDonald House, St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Chichester, Teenage Cancer Trust and the British Heart Foundation.

Juliette MacPherson, fundraisng development manager at Chestnut Tree House, addressing the group

Juliette MacPherson, fundraisng development manager at Chestnut Tree House, addressing the group

The team of 11 local business owners was put together by walkers who were feeling inspired after their achievements in last year’s Chestnut China Challenge.

Chris and Elaine Goodman from The Focus Group in Southwick Square, David Hill from Brighton-based E3 Events and Lukas Wojcik from McKenzie Associates, also in Brighton, put together the team to take on the tallest freestanding mountain.

Chris recalled the incredible sense of ‘team’ that he encountered in last year’s challenge.

“We raised over £100,000 for Chestnut Tree House last year,” he said.

Caroline Laughton loves heels but not for Mount Kilimanjaro!

Caroline Laughton loves heels but not for Mount Kilimanjaro!

“It was an incredible trip and real friendships were made. This year it is a very different, far more physical challenge, with greater risks due to the high altitude and exposure.

“On this occasion we are raising money for St Wilfrid’s Hospice who looked after Elaine’s dad.

“St Wilfrid’s made the last few weeks of Brian’s life as comfortable as possible and enabled the family to spend precious time with him.”

Also in the team are Seb Birch and Lee Aylward from The Focus Group, Caroline Laughton from The Gourmet Chef in Goring, Sally Bliss from Sussex Sport Photography and Steve Moore from Watson Associates in Brighton with his son James.

Charity climbers David Hill and Lukas Wojcik

Charity climbers David Hill and Lukas Wojcik

They embarked on the trip to Uhuru Peak, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, on Saturday. The mountain is unusual as it has four distinct climatic zones.

The team will be on the mountain for eight days, with temperatures ranging from 20 degrees C at the base to -20 degrees C at the summit.

Chris, Elaine and Seb are fundraising for St Wilfrid’s Hospice, David, Lukas and Caroline are supporting Chestnut Tree House again, Lee is supporting Teenage Cancer Trust, Steve and James are helping Ronald McDonald House and Sally is fundraising for the British Heart Foundation.

Caroline, a mother of three, said: “I hatched a plan to attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro a few years ago but my new catering business gathered speed fast and plans got shelved. When I heard about this trip I knew it was my chance to have a go.”

Visit the team’s website www.climb-mtkilimanjaro.com for more information and to make a donation.

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