A team of 12 intrepid trekkers aim to climb the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Helen & Douglas House and Iain Rennie Hospice at Home in May. Their goal is to raise £50,000 to be split equally between both charities.
The organiser of this incredible adventure is John Taylor, whose children Jack (12) and Jordie (15) were cared for by both Helen & Douglas House and Iain Rennie until they died, four years apart, from degenerative illnesses.
Paul Cassell from the Wokingham Times interviewed members of the team, including Mr Rogers, from Wokingham, who said: “I’ve never done anything like this, but it is a challenge I am really relishing it and it’s for a well-deserved cause. I have known John for 17 to 18 years and he is a very strong and resilient person given what life has thrown at him. We are all very proud of him and wanted to support him in any way we could.”
Mr Hawkes, from Shinfield, added: “I am a father myself and it is impossible to imagine what John has gone through over the years, but he has been amazingly positive about the climb and that has rubbed off on everyone. When he first asked me to join him I said yes straightaway, not only because I wanted to support him but because of the opportunity for myself personally – it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
On 10 May there will be a charity dinner and auction at Marriott London Grosvenor Square hotel to boost their fundraising, having already collected nearly £10,000.
The team will begin their climb on 23 May and hope to reach the summit on John’s 50th birthday, a week later. As well as having some old friends in his team, John will also be making this special journey with his daughter Annaliese.
Joanna Mitchell, Head of Fundraising at Helen & Douglas House, said: “It is wonderful that they are doing it in memory of Jordie and Jack and also raising vital funds to make a difference to the other children, young adults and their families who use, or have used, the two hospice houses.”
Everyone at Helen & Douglas House wishes them the very best of luck.