Student accommodation providers Liberty Living has raised almost £6,000 for the British Heart Foundation after two employees hiked to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
After months of training, Liberty Living’s Wendy Garrett and Neil Davies began their trek from Moshi, Tanzania on the 4th of October. Six days later on the 10th of October at 8:45 am, the duo reached the Uhuru peak of the mountain, 5,895 metres above sea level.
The climb, which was completed on World Mental Health Day 2019, has raised £2,951.76 at the time of writing on their JustGiving page, beating their original donation target of £1,000.
Liberty Living has made a commitment to double the final fundraising figure, meaning the donation currently sits at £5,903.52 with the hope that this will grow further over the coming weeks. The British Heart Foundation was selected due to it being of a personal nature to Neil, with a family member tragically passing on due to a heart attack at the age of 39. A maintenance technician at the company also lost his life last year, which has led to Liberty Living deciding to raise money in his memory this year.
On the descent back down the mountain, Wendy, who is a volunteer for Kidderminster-based community litter picking group “The Pickup Artists”, also started clearing litter away from the route which acted as an inspiration to others in the walking group. With help from the rest of the group, a three-mile stretch of the exit route was made completely free from litter.
Liberty Living Kilimanjaro’s climb is still taking donations on their JustGiving page.
Liberty Living’s Neil Davies said of the Kilimanjaro achievement:
“Our Kilimanjaro challenge has been the most punishing experience of my life. Tackling cold temperatures, rainforests and high altitudes took its toll, but having smashed our fundraising target we know it has all been worthwhile.
“A family member of mine passed away at 39 from a heart attack. It’s made this vital journey all the more emotional. Having the support of our family, friends and colleagues has really made a difference in helping us reach the summit.“
Paul Watson, Director of Operations, at Liberty Living talked of his pride in the employees:
“We’re immensely proud of the achievements of Wendy and Neil. They put their bodies through a tough experience in order to help others in need, and it’s wonderful to see so many respond with donations and messages of support.
“We couldn’t think of a more fitting charity for this climb. The Liberty Living family has recently had a tragic experience with heart difficulties. To ensure we maximise our impact, we will double Wendy and Neil’s final fundraising total.”
Rosh Teeluck, Head of Events at the British Heart Foundation, said:
“Without the dedication of people like Wendy and Neil, we wouldn’t be able to fund life-saving research that will end the devastation caused by heart and circulatory disease once and for all. But there’s still so much more to do and we urgently need people’s continued support to help us improve treatments further and keep more families together.
“Your fundraising helps our researchers make more discoveries and keep more hearts beating.”