My Name is Gillian Williams, I am 54 years old and I live in Sprotbrough, Doncaster.
I am married to Jeremy. I have two children; Gareth who is now 26 and is a purchasing manager as well as being a member of Barnsley TA and Laura who is 24 and is an Air Traffic Controller in the Royal Air Force. Both my children have taken to the outdoor life and enjoy skiing, snow boarding mountain biking.
Gareth completed the Iron Man Lanzarote last year which was a 2 mile swim, 120 mile bike ride and then a full marathon in just over 12 hours – one of the proudest moments of my life, you could say I have my own personal trainer.
I work for Barnsley Council in Strategic Housing as a Development Officer and really enjoy my job. My colleagues have really helped me with my fund raising, so far donating hundreds of gifts for tombola’s and car boot sales and supported me by participating in quizzes and other fund raising ideas.
When I first left school I worked in a walking and camping shop where my love of the outdoors and walking started. I then went onto become a cartographer and the love of maps followed. We have a caravan which lives up in the Yorkshire Dales and you can find us ambling along the river most weekends with our Golden Retriever Jake.
About 9 years ago Gareth went to Tanzania with World Challenge to climb Mount Meru and I was very involved with the fund raising for him and his 10 friends. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go with him and I always said that one day I would go over there myself.
Two years ago I became very ill but following an operation and the excellent care that I received I have made a full recovery and now want to give something back for the care that I received. Following this illness I became very unfit and when I heard about the Killimanjaro Challenge I made myself a promise not only to climb the mountain but to also loose 3 stones before I go.
Although I have always walked, the challenge of Kilimanjaro is going to be immense. The walks I do these days are usually flat and gentle so I am going to have to do a lot of training to make sure that I am physically fit enough for the challenge and then the only other physical hardships I will have to cope with will be no shower for 7 days and the altitude sickness.
One of my passions is that I love planning holidays and we have travelled most of America and Canada over the last 12 years. A colleague has bought me The Trekking Guide to Kilimanjaro for Christmas and I am already reading up on all the aspects of the climb and life in Tanzania.
I am really looking forward to the challenge and seeing the whole group make their individual dreams and goals come true.
Furaha Kutembea (Happy Walking in Swahili).