Going to the top of the world for hospice

Claire Southern at the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro with the Bluebell Wood bear and flag. The duo have raised over �15,000 for the charity by doing the climb.
Claire Southern at the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro with the Bluebell Wood bear and flag. The duo have raised over �15,000 for the charity by doing the climb.

Kind-hearted friends have raised more than £15,000 for charity by climbing one of the world’s most iconic mountains.

Bank workers Hayley Mayes, aged 36, of Barnby Dun, and Claire Southern, aged 31, of Scawthorpe, took on the challenge of trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, in September.

They hoped to raise £10,000 for Bluebell Wood children’s hospice, but thanks to the generosity of friends and family they smashed their target back in August – and went on to raise an impressive £15,305.

Claire Southern, branch manager at Armthorpe Halifax bank said: “Knowing how much of a difference the money we raised can make to the children and families at Bluebell Wood was our biggest motivator.

“We are both over the moon to be able to achieve our target.

“Halifax have shown fantastic support with our fundraising and have really got behind us and Bluebell Wood, we’re so grateful.”

Bluebell Wood children’s hospice provides care to children with a shortened life expectancy. To provide the care and support services the charity needs to raise more £3million a year, but receives less than 10 per cent government funding.

The Doncaster duo, who work at the Doncaster and Armthorpe branches of Halifax, took on the challenge to support the charity as a thank you for the care staff provided to a child of a friend who died at the South Yorkshire-based hospice in 2009.

Rachael Dawes, community fundraiser at Bluebell Wood said; “Hayley and Claire are a huge inspiration and have raised an incredible amount to ensure we can continue to provide around the clock palliative, respite and end-of-life care for our children, creating special memories for children and young adults.”

The pair are now training for further challenges they want to take on to raise even more money for Bluebell Wood, including a London to Paris bike ride next year.

The Bluebell Wood charity has launched its calendar of events for the next year and is recruiting people to take part in the adventure challenge, Three Peaks, tandem skydives, Great Wall of China Trek and London to Paris cycle.

n If you would like to follow in Hayley and Claire’s footsteps by taking on a mammoth challenge yourself, contact events fundraiser, Jo Berry on 01909 517 365 or email jo.berry@bluebellwood.org