Read about why she’s taking on this challenge, raising money for The Wallich and how you can donate.
Why did you choose to fundraise for The Wallich and support people experiencing homelessness?
I recently retired as a Consultant Psychiatrist in addictions in Cardiff and Vale. I saw first-hand the devastating effects of homelessness, especially when paired with mental and physical health disorders.
Our service worked closely with agencies supporting people experiencing homelessness, including The Wallich. I have tremendous respect for those frontline agencies.
I knew that when I retired, I wanted to continue to support homeless people in some capacity and I was fortunate to be appointed as a member of The Wallich trustee board.
I feel strongly that it is a basic human right to have a place called ‘home’. This is something that most of us take for granted.
Every day we are trekking, we will be in a tent with no toilet and no shower facilities but we will still have more than some rough sleepers.
What are you doing to raise money?
This is a family challenge; it includes my 19-year-old son, Joe, my partner, Craig, and my sister-in-law, Julie.
We’re all are dipping into our respective networks to encourage donations and publicity.
We’ve also contacted The Guinness Book of World Records – just to see if there are any other ‘family’ records for reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Do you have a training plan?
We’re all reasonably fit but have definitely stepped up our exercise; apart from Joe who is doing his A Levels – but he does have youth and very long legs on his side.
We’re used to mountain trekking. In 2015, we trekked in the Atlas Mountains and reached the summit of the highest peak, Mount Toubkal, at just over 4,000 metres.
Mount Kilimanjaro is a different beast though – standing at just under 6,000 metres.
Altitude sickness is going to be our biggest challenge, which is unpredictable and not related to level of fitness.
Due to this, we’ve chosen to trek the Lemosho route. It takes longer but your body has more time to acclimatise, hopefully giving us a better chance of all reaching the summit.
To boost my fitness levels, I’m jogging several times a week and/or going to gym. I have also joined a women’s running club in Penarth to keep me motivated.
What are you most looking forward to about climbing Kilimanjaro?
This is going to be a very special adventure. Time to really bond as a family, no tv or other distractions of life.
Hopefully, we will have a lot of fun along the way and even though it will undoubtedly be tough – we will be spurred on knowing that we are raising money for such a worthwhile charity.
For me personally, this is going to be a really tough physical challenge. I’m 56 years old so, I’m excited to test out my resilience.
How can people donate?
Any form of donation will be so gratefully received
Our target is £1,500 but secretly I’m hoping that we exceed this.