Climbing Kilimanjaro for Teenage Cancer Trust.
One dream of mine has been to climb Kilimanjaro, not something I have wanted to do just for myself so the chance to help others in the process makes it even more rewarding.
Over the past year I have been busy transforming myself towards a healthier path. In February 2018 I took the jump to get myself down to a healthy weight and see if it was possible to remove my dependence on blood pressure medication. Now over a year, I no longer take any medication and lost nearly 7 stone in the process.
As part of my on-going development towards a healthier life, I decided it was time to take on the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro. What I did not want to do is undertake a charity scheme whereby I raise a set amount and all expenses are paid. I did not feel it was fair that you would be putting your money towards a good cause where over £3,000 of that would pay for my experience personally. Therefore, I have financed the trip myself and all money raised for the charity, goes directly to the charity.
So how did this all come about? Outside my life as CTO at Riskex, I also coach youth football and have done now for many years. Thought those years I have created some great bonds with my current u15 players and their parents. One such parent who is mother to twins Sam and Jay within my u15’s who I have coached since they were u9’s approached me about joining her in climbing Kilimanjaro and raising money in the process. It so happened that her ambition was the same as mine and the timing could not have been better, so I agreed. We both wanted to do this not just for ourselves but also to help others. I did not mind which charity we raised money for as long as it was directed at children. Having kid’s myself and working closely with youth football, it felt a good objective. It was decided for multiple reasons that we would raise money for Teenage Cancer trust, having both known others who have or are being affected by cancer at such a young age currently. Any support we could provide by undertaking the challenge only adds to the reward and will ensure the motivation to go through with it all.
The other side and more personally aspect to this challenge is my current role at Riskex, a leading provider of cloud-based health and safety compliance software, AssessNET. I have been part of Riskex and AssessNET since conception nearly 20 years ago at the age of 19. Now at 38, I look back over the years and all the challenges we faced as a small business as we grew, all the late nights and 7 day working weeks, people who have joined us and still there today. In short, regardless of the hard work and the feeling that sometimes we might be swimming in treacle, it was the motivation and believe that ensured we were still here today, successful and growing. I don’t just do this climb for myself, I do it as a demonstration to everybody that if you have an ambition and a challenge in front of you to achieve it, then never loose faith in that ambition.
At the end of July, I take on a big ambition of mine. Reaching the top will be emotional, this last year has been one of the most challenging so far. I look forward to sharing my journey as a prep, climb and reflect. I shall be taking my GoPro and looking to send news back to people (where possible). I shall also be keeping a full daily journal from the moment I travel to the airport.
Any corporate sponsors who would be happy to help cover the financing of the trip would be greatly received. I intend to wear a climbing shirt which will have the logos of all those who helped towards the trip. Any charity donations must go directly via just-giving.