VIDEO: Doncaster duo take on Africa’s highest mountain

Colleagues touched by the work carried out by a Doncaster hospice have set themselves a massive challenge to raise cash for the centre.

Hayley Mayes, aged 35, of Partridge Road in Barnby Dun, and Claire Southern, aged 32, of Green Lane in Scawthorpe, are gearing up to climb Africa’s highest peak Mount Kilimanjaro in September.

Hayley Mayes, business manager at Halifax Doncaster with Claire Southern, branch manager at Halifax Armthorpe, with Fern the Squirrel from Bluebell Wood as they are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Picture: Andrew Roe

Hayley Mayes, business manager at Halifax Doncaster with Claire Southern, branch manager at Halifax Armthorpe, with Fern the Squirrel from Bluebell Wood as they are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Picture: Andrew Roe

Hayley, business manager at the Doncaster branch of Halifax, and Claire, branch manager at Armthorpe Halifax, are hoping to raise £10,000 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

Claire said: “Last year we did different charity events, some for Bluebell Wood, so this year we thought we’d think about what challenge we could do. We came across the idea of climbing Kilimanjaro to raise money for Bluebell Wood.

“My friend’s daughter passed away there and they supported her before and afterwards, seeing what a fantastic charity they are I thought they deserved the support.

“Claire helped out for a day at Bluebell Wood, when she saw what the bereavement counsellors were doing it really touched her, and the hospice is for local people.

“We want to raise as much money as possible. We are aiming to reach £10,000.”

She added: “It costs £3 million a year to run the hospice and it only receives five per cent from the government.

“It’s a massive challenge and we will have to deal with altitude sickness and a huge change in temperature from 30 degrees heat to snow and ice. We will be climbing for six days and on the last day it takes 17 hours.”

Fundraising starts next month with Halifax branches across Yorkshire hosting events including cake sales, people biking for sponsorship, an auction and supermarket bag packing.

The actual date the climb starts – September 19 – marks the seventh birthday of Bluebell Wood Hospice.

The charity came into being following the death of youngster Richard Cooper who had a rare disease which quickly led to increasing disability.

Richard also developed cancer and had to endure frequent hospital admissions and intensive treatments with unpleasant side effects. In 1998 the charity was established to help families like Richard’s, who need care and support outside a hospital environment.

Halifax has offered to match some of the girls’ funds.

n To donate visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/claireandhayleyschallenge.