I’m a change manager with Barnsley Council and an organiser of this trek alongside my colleagues Ken Eastwood and Martin Farran.
I’m 45 years of age, married to the gorgeous Annie and we live with our black lab Jack in the far west of the borough, up in the hills bordering the Peak District National Park.
Why the Hospice?
I’ve always been touched by the difficult and challenging work that hospices carry out and I have been fortunate to receive a little insight through a very good pal of mine who recently retired after a long time as chief exec of a large hospice just north of London. What surprised me most was just how heavily they rely on charitable donations; on average adult charitable hospices in England receive just 32% of their costs from the government or NHS. That’s a big chunk of money to find year in, year out from public and corporate donations, legacies and fundraising activities – even more difficult in the current economic environment!
Annie regularly volunteers at Barnsley Hospice and I have taken part in a number of trekking events to raise money for their amazing work. That said, this upcoming adventure is by far the biggest fundraising undertaking that I’ve been a part of and although it’s a tad scary I’m very excited at the thought that we could raise a significant amount for the Hospice.
With my late father being an electronics engineer specialising in air traffic control and instrument landing systems I enjoyed a well travelled childhood. When I was two years old my father was working on Nairobi’s international airport in Kenya at the same time that my late grandfather (mother’s side) was serving there for the RAF. It was at this time that my grandparents commissioned a local artist to paint a number of famous East African vistas which included Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya and the Masai Mara. No prizes for guessing which one fascinated me the most – the painting of Kilimanjaro has pretty much followed me all my life and hangs in our home today. Needless to say reaching the summit of this awesome mountain has been a lifelong ambition so when Ken, Martin and I found ourselves discussing the next charity challenge during one of our many ‘Trailtrekker’ training hikes last year – I was rather passionate about making a trek to Kili happen!
My Nana, who will be 92 years young next week, is absolutely delighted that we are taking on this great adventure for such an excellent cause and I have my instructions to take lots of photos ready for a long chat once we’ve returned!