A GROUP of intrepid fundraisers have set off for the challenge of a lifetime on Wednesday - climbing the world’s highest freestanding mountain for charity.
The 22 climbers are off to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to raise money for Dinnington-based children and young people’s charity Safe@Last.
Staff and volunteers, friends and family waved goodbye to the participants as they set off for their 12-day trip.
Climbers young and old are taking part, with oldest in their 70s and the youngest in their early 20s.
There backgrounds also vary with a beauty queen, the strategic director for children and young people’s services in Rotherham and the town’s first test tube baby part of the group.
They are joined by founder trustee of Safe@Last, Hilary Massarella.
The team aims to reach the ice-capped summit of the Mountain at 5,895m above sea level, in the early hours of Thursday 11th October after a gruelling six full days trekking and very basic living conditions.
They will have to walk through sweltering heat in the day and try to keep warm in their tents during the freezing nights.
Dan Dean, Safe@Last chair of trustees was there to wave them off.
He said: “Throughout the twelve years of Safe@Last hundreds of people have spent thousands of hours walking, running, sleeping rough, dancing and doing challenges to raise funds.”
“Now this special group are taking on the longest and highest challenge yet. The efforts of these hero’s and all their supporters will make this event the biggest and most successful fundraiser SAFE@LAST has ever had.”
“Every step they take on this 8 day climb will raise much needed funds to help some of the most vulnerable young people in South Yorkshire.”
To support the team, sponsor them at www.virginmoneygiving.com/kili2012 or for more information visit safeatlast.org.uk