May 21, 2024

Katie Kelly, Joanne Turner, Jamie Turner and Shaun England training up Moel Famau

A team of four from Flintshire will be trekking Tanzania’s 5,895m volcano this summer to raise funds for the Flint-based charity, Giddo’s Gift.

The charity was set up by Mandy Giddins following the death of her son, Jordan Giddins, who passed away at age 18 from Ewing’s Sarcoma, a childhood bone cancer in 2017. In memory of ‘Giddo’, who was ‘the most selfless, strongest, and funniest’ person, Mandy and her daughter, Beth Giddins were determined to help improve the lives of other young children and adults diagnosed with cancer.

Funds raised by Giddo’s Gift are used to provide gifts, grants, and wishes to children and teenagers across North Wales, Cheshire, Merseyside, and Manchester, who are battling cancer. Having improved the lives of many young cancer patients in the Northwest over the past seven years, Giddo’s Gift’s blue flag is set to fly high on Africa’s highest peak this June – the fourth highest in the world – thanks to the commitment of four local friends.

Shaun England, his daughter Joanna Turner, her husband Jamie Turner, and family friend Katie Kelly, will be ascending Mount Kilimanjaro on June 16th. The Flint four have already exceeded their target of £1,000 thanks to donations from the public, as well as a £400 donation from Shaun’s employer Essity (The Paper Mill) and £100 from the Flint Royal British Legion, where Shaun regularly volunteers. The team are now appealing to the public for further donations to help reach their new target of £2,000 in aid of the charity.

 

Shaun said: “This is a real bucket-list activity that I’ve always wanted to do and doing it for Giddo’s Gift makes it all the more special. We’ve known the family for years, and Giddo’s Gift is a real community effort, so it just makes sense to fundraise for an appeal that’s really close to our hearts.

 

“We’re all really excited to take this challenge on. It’ll be tough but so worth it when we get that flag up there. Joanna and Katie do a lot of marathons all around the world, and I can walk all day for miles, but having done lots of research about Kilimanjaro, it’s the altitude that stops most people making it to the top. We plan on listening to the guides, drinking lots of water, and remembering the importance of nutrition.”

 

The challenge includes a five-day hike of the Machame Route followed by a 1–2-day descent, with the support of local guides. In preparation of the week-long trip, which includes camping overnight in uncertain conditions, Shaun and the team have been busy utilizing North Wales’s landscape as training grounds.

 

Shaun said: “We went up Moel Famau last week, which was our first time as a team of four. We’re really keen to get that team spirit going, which is what Giddo’s Gift is all about. We’ll be doing Snowdon a few times before we go as well, which is good to practice battling the elements. We’re glad we’ve booked it with a professional group as they’ll keep an eye on us and will be on hand for medical advice. This isn’t a walk in the park, we know how dangerous it can be and that we need to take it seriously, so any donations would be really appreciated.”

 

Donate at www.gofundme.com/f/kilimanjaro-one-step-at-a-time or find out more about the charity at www.giddosgift.com