A group of charity trekkers including nurses, teachers, business people and families who have been helped by a Yorkshire hospital have conquered Kilimanjaro.
The trek took seven days and featured climbs of over 1,000m, taking in difficult altitudes as well as tricky climates.
The group - from across Yorkshire - were exposed to extreme elements, testing the group’s resilience with spells of hail and snow.
The summit trek was the most demanding, involving more than nine hours of hiking in freezing temperatures throughout the night.
Despite the challenging conditions, they reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro during the early hours of Thursday 26th September - raising over £100,000 for the hospital.
The more than £100,000 raised will go towards the Build a Better Future appeal, to help build a new Emergency Department and on-site Helipad at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, as well as transform the Cancer and Leukaemia ward.
Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s Emergency Department is a nationally designated Major Trauma Centre for South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw. The department was designed to see 32,000 children a year but last year saw 56,965 patients.
The appeal would also create much-needed space, particularly for critically-ill patients by expanding the resuscitation area. It will also create more treatment spaces, a dedicated space for patients with mental health issues or learning difficulties and a separate area for adolescents which is not currently available.
Scott said: “Summit night was by far the hardest part but knowing the difference we were making for young patients at the hospital kept us all going. Reaching the top together is an experience I’ll never forget.”
After they summitted the world’s tallest free-standing mountain, the team descended for 36 hours, rapidly dropping altitude levels until they reached the base.
Cheryl Davidson, another member of the team, who organised the event for The Children’s Hospital Charity added: “From start to finish, the trek was a difficult experience for everyone, but we thought of the amazing patients at our hospital and what they go through every day. They were the motivation when times were tough.”
Having completed one of the most difficult events The Children’s Hospital Charity has ever planned, it’s safe to say the team have become friends for life.
Another climber, Rachel Bearpark, who is a Health Visitor for Sheffield Children’s Hospital continued: “We only spent ten days together, but we’ve become one big family. You eat, cry and laugh together. We couldn’t have asked for a better team to share the experience with, all the hard work has been absolutely worth it.”
The fundraising will also help build an on-site helipad, which will mean patients can be brought to the hospital via air ambulance outside of daylight hours. Helicopters currently land in the nearby Weston Park during the day and cross the A57 to access the Emergency Department.
The final strand of the appeal will transform the Cancer and Leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
The ward treats children from babies through to 19-year-olds in South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire and even as far south as Northampton.
It is one of twenty principle treatment centres in the UK and also cares for patients who have other problems including bleeding and inherited disorders.
The refreshed ward would have private patient rooms with en-suite facilities, giving patients a place to make their own and space for a parent to sleep comfortably alongside them.
Under the plans, the ward footprint would also be increased, with larger bed bays and more isolation rooms.
To find out how you can get involved visit www.tchc.org.uk/appeal