Pendle Hill challenge: Clitheroe Cubs and Scouts ready to experience a 'Taste of Kilimanjaro'
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A 'Taste of Kilimanjaro' will see intrepid eight to 14-year-olds from St Mary Magdalene's waking up at 3am on Saturday to climb Pendle Hill in the dark – arriving at the summit for 5-30am, just in time to watch the sun rise.
The reason for the expedition is to raise funds to allow fellow Cub, Ashton Barton, to continue being an active member of their pack.
Ashton (9) has a complex heart condition which means he is at high risk of suffering a heart attack.
He desperately wants to remain in the Cubs, but that can only happen if appropriate precautions are in place at St Mary’s Church Hall.
Their best hope is to have speedy access to a defibrillator. The nearest one is currently some distance away, and so the Scout Group launched an appeal to buy one for use at the hall.
Louise Sells, a leader at St Mary Magdalene Scout Group, said: “The response has been so overwhelming we are now planning to fund a second defibrillator which will be installed at Ashton’s family home.
“Originally we wanted to purchase two defibrillators. The first for use at St. Mary’s Church Hall, which would be available for Ashton – should the need arise – and also for the local community on a 24/7 basis. Then a second portable one for Ashton’s family, so that they always had one close to hand.
“The cost of purchasing, maintaining, and supporting both will cost close to £8,000 and we did not feel raising such a huge sum would be possible. Initially we set our sights lower, hoping to be able to purchase one for St Mary’s Hall, which would cost in the region of £4,000.
“Even this figure is a sizeable amount and significantly more than we have ever raised for charitable or scouting purposes in the past so we thought we would need to do something special to capture the public imagination and support; ideally something unique.
“Whilst we have a few different events planned within our ‘Defibrillator Appeal’ the main focus is on the Pendle Hill expedition.
“The idea came from two friends who had told us how they had summited Kilimanjaro, climbing for over eight hours in complete darkness to arrive at the summit as the sun broke across the horizon, giving them the most wonderous sunrise views they had ever witnessed.
“Of course, we couldn’t get the Cubs/Scouts over to Tanzania, but we’ve got the magnificent Pendle Hill on our doorsteps which means we can try to give them a little taste of what our friends experienced.“The response on every level has far exceeded the organising team’s hopes.”
As things stand, they have a near full complement of 18 Cubs, and 13 Scouts, as well as 11 parents, at least three leaders and their two “Kili” friends taking part in the trek.
Of a maximum of 18 corporate sponsorship packages, 16 have been taken up.
Add to this the donations, lodged via their Justgiving page, and the numerous substantial pledges received, organisers have now surpassed the £4,000 mark already and are advancing towards the magic £8,000.
Anybody wishing to donate can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/campaign/atok.