Intrepid Uckfield women who will be climbing Kilimanjaro next month. From the left, standing, are: Valerie Williams, Linda Salter, Cathy Dooris, Angus Smith, Carine Roberts, and Vicky Whelan. Front, is Tammy Trauntner.

Uckfield team to climb Kilimanjaro

Eight intrepid Uckfield women are hoping to raise funds and inspire others by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro next month.

Team members, Angus Smith, Celine Woods, Carine Roberts, Cathy Dooris, Valerie Williams, Vicky Revill-Whelan, Tammy Trauntner, and Linda Salter, describe themselves as ‘ordinary mums’ taking on an extraordinary challenge.

Angus said: “Sometimes we are labelled ‘just mums’ so by doing a challenge such as this we are able to show people, and especially our children, what you can achieve, and inspire others to accomplish anything.”

Three Peaks

Having completed the Three Peaks challenge and South Downs Challenge it was Cathy Dooris who suggested they take on Mount Kilimanjaro.

She said: “We had all seen reports of other ‘normal’ people taking on the challenge and thought it was something we could do.

“We love to walk and know that it is often seen as the ‘easy’ option but we are under no illusions about how tough this will be.”

38-mile trek

They expect the 38-mile trek to take eight days to complete, with altitude sickness the biggest challenge as they walk to a height of 19,341ft (5,895m), higher than Everest’s base camp.

As if the trek itself wasn’t enough of a challenge, the group have set themselves the ambitious target of paying for a day of Chestnut Tree children’s hospice’s care.

The charity cares for around 300 children in East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire who have conditions that mean they are unlikely to live to adulthood.


They provide ongoing support and care for the whole family as well as emergency and end of life care when the time comes, both at the hospice near Arundel and in families’ own homes across the area.

Valerie Williams said: “We wanted to support a charity working in the local community and Chestnut Tree really struck a chord with us.”

“When a friend of mine really needed hospice care for their teenage child, there was no children’s facility available like Chestnut Tree, which really can make a difference.”


It costs £6,850 every day to provide all of Chestnut Tree’s care, a figure the group hopes to achieve through sponsorship and fundraising.

Carine said: “We have each covered the costs of the trip personally so every single penny we raise will go directly to Chestnut Tree. We are already well on our way, but need an extra boost before we fly out on February 1.”

The team have been preparing for the trip with plenty of training walks along the Sussex coast and around Ashdown Forest and Glynde.

Big commitment

Angus said: “It’s a big commitment. We need to say a big thank you to our friends and family. We are all parents of young families and without their support, this challenge would not be possible.”

If you would like to help the team reach their goal you can donate at


Ready to climb Kilimanjaro are, from the left: Carine Roberts, Vicky Whelan, Linda Salter, Cathy Dooris, Angus Smith, Valerie Williams and Tammy Trauntner.

• Contact details for Chestnut Tree Children’s Hospice can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Charities or Children’s Hospice.

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