Couple hope to scale thousands of feet and raise thousands for hospice

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A couple are poised to reach new heights when they scale Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of a Yorkshire hospice.

Anne Slater-Brooks, originally from Gomersal, and her husband Jason are taking on the epic task to raise funds for Bluebell Wood Hospice.

The charity offers care and support to children with a shortened life expectancy living in and around Sheffield, which is where the couple reside.

Anne was inspired to do something for charity ten years on from the loss of her mother, Janet Oxtoby.

She said: “I lost my mum to cancer ten years ago.

“My mum was born and bred in Gomersal and was well-known throughout the area.

“She got diagnosed and then just 18 months later she was gone at the age of 60.

“The only horror I can imagine that surpasses that pain is to see your child ravaged by this terrible disease.

“Bluebell Wood offers support to children with a shortened life expectancy and gives families the chance to relax, take a break and have fun so I thought they would be a good choice.”

The couple will not take on the challenge until October 2019 but before then they have a busy itinerary of fundraising events to organise.

They want to raise as close to £10,000 as possible to ensure they are able to take on the daunting challenge.

Anne, a business development manager, has already pencilled in a black tie charity ball in Sheffield next February as their maiden fundraiser.

“We’re looking to raise around £10,000 and obviously we’d like to do that as soon as possible,” she said.

“It’s very early in terms of fundraising and we’ve got a long way to go.”

In terms of the logistics of reaching the summit of the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, Anne admits she will be way out of her comfort zone.

The 43-year-old added: “Getting to the top of Kilimanjaro is going to be hell for me.

“I hate camping, am not a big fan of walking long distances, I don’t like wildlife and have occasional meltdowns with heights”

“So if I succeed, this is going to be both a massive physical and mental achievement.

“But that will all be worthwhile to be able to give something back to this incredible charity.”

To donate to the couple’s JustGiving page, visit bit.ly/2sLakix.