Kilimanjaro challenge begins with a jumble

Daisy Dunmill, James Bacon, Lydia Meiring and mayor Kim Forward
Daisy Dunmill, James Bacon, Lydia Meiring and mayor Kim Forward

AN intrepid adventurer is swapping St Leonards for Tanzania in an attempt to climb Africa’s tallest mountain.

James Bacon is gearing up to take on the 19,340 feet above sea level Mount Kilimanjaro - which is also the world’s highest free-standing mountain.

The 22-year-old, who lives in Lime Close, will tackle the mammoth challenge at the end of the month alongside his girlfriend and a team from Birmingham University.

The idea is to raise cash for Childreach International - a charity which helps local communities in the developing world improve youngsters’ access to education and healthcare as well as protecting children’s rights.

Childreach International helped more than 70,000 youngsters last year and, to get the fundraising off to a good start, Mr Bacon held a jumble sale and coffee morning recently.

Mayor of Hastings Kim Forward was among those who headed to Park Road Methodist Church for the event - which sold out of cakes.

And Cllr Forward was the first to wish Mr Bacon well on his forthcoming foray and say how much she enjoyed the first fundraiser - which netted £340. She said: “It was lovely to see the community come together, enjoy some tea and cake and purchase what was on offer.

“I thoroughly enjoyed meeting some new faces and learning more about the charity Childreach International.

“I wish James, his girlfriend Lydia and the rest of the team all the best of luck in climbing Kilimanjaro.”

Mr Bacon himself told the Observer he hopes to be up to the challenge - and is using an infamously podgy celebrity as inspiration.

He said; “This will be a mammoth challenge for the team from Birmingham University and I, but something I am very much looking forward to.

“I am using Chris Moyles as a benchmark - if he can do it, so can I.”

Mount Kilimanjaro lies 205 miles south of the equator on Tanzania’s northern border with Kenya and is actually made up of three volcanoes.

Such is its size that it supports five major eco-zones (rainforest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and glaciers) and is home to a diverse sprinkling of wildlife - including elephants, buffalo, colobus monkeys, buzzards, mountain hawk eagles and white-naped ravens.