Kim scales mountain for children’s charity

A bar manager from Stratford raised more than �3,000 for the Starlight Children’s Foundation after climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Kim Ballard, 30, from Tennyson Road, chose the adventure as part of her plan to do 52 new things last year. It just so happened that climbing the mountain in Tanzania was among the list of new experiences she wanted accomplish. Mount Kilimanjaro is 19,340 feet above sea level. It is the tallest mountain in Africa and also holds the title of the world’s highest free-standing mountain.

Kim said she then began looking for a charity to support. When she saw a video clip of a little girl who was granted the wish of recording her own pop song before she succumbed to cancer, Kim decided it was the one she would support.

With the help of a tour operator she organised the trip.

She told the Recorder: “I did Mount Kilimanjaro in the last week in October last year. I did not really do any training and it was really hard. I thought because I am on my feet all day at the bar that I would be OK.

“I did not cope with the altitude but I did get to the top. There was 29 of us in the group and 22 or 23 of us made it.

“I raised �3,300 for the charity.”

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Video clips of her trip were featured on a Channel 5 series last Wednesday (April 13) called Starlight: For The Children. Channel 5 commissioned a ten-part factual entertainment series celebrating 25 years of the foundation which has been brightening the lives of sick children by granting once-in-a-lifetime wishes as well as providing entertainment in hospitals and hospices.

The series featured a mix of celebrities and extraordinary members of the public doing a range of good deeds for the children they support.