LIFE-SAVING volunteers who spent a week climbing Africa’s highest peak, battling sub-zero temperatures and vertical rock faces, have raised £20,000 to provide front line emergency medical treatment in Lincolnshire.
Members of Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service (LIVES) ascended nearly 6,000 metres to the summit of Kilimanjaro to raise invaluable sponsorship money for the voluntary organisation.
Clinical director of LIVES, Dr Yvonne Owen said: “It was very hard, I think it probably exceeded what we were expecting.
“The summit was the hardest bit without a doubt, we climbed more than a thousand metres in minus five to minus 10 degrees Celsius, in the dark with no air, suffering from headaches, nausea and breathlessness.
“We were very unlucky with the weather and it rained just about every day, so for a lot of time we were just climbing in the clouds but when the sun did poke through the view was amazing and that kept us going.
“We will look at other ways of raising funds but I will not be going up Kilimanjaro ever again, that’s for sure.”
Dr Owen and ten other members, including Susan Vasey and Tony Baker from Brinkhill near Alford, completed their epic adventure on Thursday after seven gruelling days on the mountain.
After a celebratory home brewed Kilimanjaro beer and a well earned shower, the intrepid explorers jetted back to the UK to resume their voluntary life-saving duties.
They came up with the idea 18 months ago to help raise funding to provide training and equipment to responder groups around the county.
Dr Owen felt that the enthusiastic dedication the volunteers show on a daily basis made them ideal candidates to enlist on a challenge of such magnitude.
The £20,000 they have raised so far could help LIVES establish eight new responder groups to provide emergency treatment in inaccessible rural areas, where assisting the emergency services is most vital.
l To donate visit www.justgiving.com/YvonneOwen