A receptionist has helped raise £36,000 for charity by scaling Africa’s highest mountain in a gruelling six-day trek.
Pat Szymkiw (59), who works at Dove Cottage Day Hospice in Stathern, was part of an 18-strong team of friends and regulars from The Plough at Normanton-on-the-Wolds to take on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Half of the proceeds from the climb will go to Dove Cottage and Amy’s Fund - a charity set up in 2013 which is devoted to raising funds for the Nottingham University Hospital Critical Care Unit following the death of Amy Duffield who used to work at The Plough.
The group have so far raised over £36,000, smashing their target of £20,000. They arrived at the Uhuru Peak in the early hours of Friday morning.
The summit - at 5,895 metres above sea level - was reached in a punishing eight-and-a-half-hour night-time climb.
Pat said: “Each of us felt the effects of altitude and everyone went through a dark patch at some point during the final stages but our porters and guides kept us going. “This was the first time I’ve ever done anything like this and just shows that when you put your mind to something you can do it and that age is no barrier.
“Reaching the top was amazing and the team spirit throughout the journey to the summit remained positive. It took us an extra two days to start the decent back down which was just as hard.”
You can still sponsor Pat and the team by visiting http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/PloughKiliClimbers