“On 6th October, I will be attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for three children’s charities.
I’ve never done any fund raising like this before, so this is a bit of a step into the unknown for me. I also missed out on the whole year-out-travel-the-world phenomenon (too old!), so the trek itself is many steps into the unknown but it seems like a fitting way to see out my fifth decade on this planet and a good opportunity to put something back. I’m climbing with an industry friend and colleague, Mike Beatty of Pulse Marketing.
In a break with what appears to be the current trend, Mike and I are paying our own way so that all the money we raise goes to our chosen charities. We’re spending about £5,000 between us on the trip. That’s quite an expensive week’s camping holiday and to make the investment and associated pain, suffering and altitude sickness worthwhile, we figure we have to raise a minimum of £20,000.
“The charities that we’re supporting are Friends of Freemantles; Edukid, which funds the education of former child soldiers in Africa; and a cancer charity that grants wishes to terminally ill children.
These are all very worthy causes but Friends of Freemantles, in particular, is very close to my heart. The charity raises money to support Freemantles School, a specialist facility for autistic children near Woking in Surrey. My severely autistic seven-year-old son attends Freemantles and so I have first-hand experience of the fantastic work that the school does.
The school has wonderful specialist facilities and an enormously dedicated teaching staff but lacks the State funds to meet the cost of many of the things that enhance the children’s education and extend their opportunities. This includes the school minibuses, caravans that are used to provide the children with experience of being away from home and in different environments and a lot of the extra specialist equipment that the school needs on a day-to-day basis.
Friends of Freemantles volunteers, many of them time-poor parents and full-time carers of autistic children themselves, run events and seek donations year after year in order to make sure that the school is able to maintain these additional facilities and improve the prospects of every pupil.
Freemantles makes an enormous difference to the education and development of the children who attend the school and it would struggle to do so anywhere near as well without the charitable donations it receives.
If you want to know more about Freemantles or learn about autism, please have a look at the school website, http://www.freemantles.surrey.sch.uk.”
To cut to the chase then, of course we’re asking all of our friends, colleagues, business counterparts and anyone else who knows us to support us personally by making a donation to our chosen charities. I’m asking you too.
We have a Virgin Giving website through which you can make donations. You can find it here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/mikeanddavidkiliclimb
I sincerely hope you’re able to help.”