Fundraising for Home-Start: Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for a Purpose

Imagine standing at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the majestic peak towering above you, its snow-capped summit reaching towards the heavens. Now, picture facing the daunting challenge of conquering this mighty mountain not only for personal accomplishment but also to support causes close to your heart. This is the extraordinary journey that Home-Start supporter Phil Adams and three friends, James, Andy and Stefan, have embarked upon – climbing Kilimanjaro with a purpose.

Join Phil and the team on this extraordinary journey to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in September and raise money for their favourite local charities: Home-Start Royston, Buntingford & South Cambridgeshire, The Sick Children’s Trust, and the Isabel Hospice.

How the challenge came about

The idea to climb Kilimanjaro came about as a way to celebrate one of the team’s 40th birthday, who is a highly tuned athlete and as such needed a fresh challenge in his life. He invited Phil to join the team and as a less well-tuned ex-sports person and nearly 20 years his elder, Phil couldn’t resist such a challenge.

Phil says: “Thanks to my father and his love of mountains, I too have always had some inexplicable deep and emotional connection to the mountains borne out of many visits to the French Alps and Scottish Highlands as a child, and more recently the Lake District, the Peak District, and the Snowdonia National Park.

Whether it’s cycling or walking to a summit, they offer such a cathartic experience and a real sense of achievement that I cannot find elsewhere in nature. So, when the chance came to take on Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain on the planet standing at a whopping 5,895m, it was impossible to say no.”

The team decided to make the most of their challenge by setting up a fundraising page to raise money for three local charities who help support people less fortunate; who rely heavily on the charities’ support during times of great difficulty. Each member of the team has a personal connection to the charities in some form or another. So, they set up a fundraising page and any money raised will be split evenly between all three.

Climbing Kilimanjaro: James Randall, Andy Birnie, Stefan Westphal and Phil Adams

Training and preparation: The road to Kilimanjaro

Phil and his friends are not mountaineers by profession or experienced climbers, but their dedication and passion for the causes they support have driven them to take on this immense challenge. In the face of physical and mental obstacles, they have committed countless hours to training and preparation, pushing their limits to ensure they are ready for the arduous journey ahead. The training and preparation required for climbing Kilimanjaro has strengthened their resolve to make a difference in their community.

The challenges of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro are not to be underestimated. The team will face a myriad of obstacles; the altitude alone poses a significant challenge, as the air becomes thinner and oxygen levels decrease. This can lead to symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue, making every step an uphill battle.

In addition to the physical demands, the climbers must also contend with the unpredictable weather conditions on the mountain. Kilimanjaro’s climate can change rapidly, going from scorching heat to freezing cold in a matter of hours. This requires careful planning and preparation, including packing appropriate clothing and gear to protect them from the elements and stay warm and dry.

Furthermore, the sheer magnitude of the undertaking can take a toll on one’s mental strength. The climb is not only physically demanding but also mentally taxing, requiring a strong mindset and unwavering determination. The climbers must push through moments of doubt and exhaustion, relying on their perseverance and the support of their team to keep moving forward.

When asked how the training was going, Phil said: “In a word mixed. I shall dispense with the negative aspects first – injuries! These are undoubtedly a nuisance and can linger for longer than I’d wish. That said, overall, the body is holding together very well indeed and I’m thoroughly enjoying the process. Whether it’s walking the cycle path network around Stevenage, traversing Crib Goch to reach the summit of Snowdon, scaling Scafell Pike, or hot-footing it across the Peak District to the top of Mam Tor, they all play an essential part in the process of getting summit ready.”

When asked what he was most looking forward to about the challenge, Phil said: “That’s easy, all four of us successfully reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro and sharing a wee tipple. They say you should never Google any ailments you may be feeling as you’ll immediately default to the worst diagnosis. Well, the same is true of the abundance of Kili videos on YouTube. I think I’ve watched them all to get a sense of what it’s really like and how hard it will be. I can only conclude it will be extremely challenging for us all but definitely not insurmountable.”

Supporting local causes

Phil and his friends have chosen to dedicate their climb to these three worthy causes, seeking to make a real and lasting impact within their community.

Home-Start Royston, Buntingford & South Cambridgeshire provides support for families with children under nine who need a helping hand; they may be struggling with post-natal depression, isolation, physical and mental health problems, bereavement and many other issues.

The Sick Children’s Trust provides accommodation for families with seriously ill children receiving treatment in the hospital, giving families one less thing to worry about by offering them a place to stay and someone to talk to, free of charge, just minutes from their child’s bedside when they are poorly.

The Isabel Hospice provides support and care to people in eastern Hertfordshire who are affected by life-limiting illnesses through their Hospice at Home, In-Patient Unit, Community Team, Living Well with Isabel programme and our Family and Bereavement support service.

How you can get involved

The decision to climb Mount Kilimanjaro was not taken lightly. Phil and his friends understood that by undertaking such an immense feat, they could engage their community and capture the attention of others, driving them to donate towards these causes. Their hope is that their climb will not only raise funds but also raise awareness about the vital work these charities do, encouraging others to get involved and make a difference.

And one of the simplest ways to show your support is by spreading the word. Share with your friends, family, and colleagues. Use your voice and social media platforms to raise awareness.

Another way you can get involved is by making a donation. Whether big or small, every contribution counts and helps.

Feeling adventurous and up for a challenge yourself?

Why not consider participating in a fundraising event to help raise funds for Home-Start? You could organise a charity run, host a bake sale, or even plan your own adventurous expedition. By rallying your own community and raising funds for Home-Start, you can make a tangible difference in the lives of families in need.

We can help you with setting up a fundraising page and promoting your fundraiser on our social media channels and website. Call and speak to Tracy or Paula today at 01763 262262 or email admin@hsrsc.org.uk.

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