A WIDDRINGTON resident is hoping to scale the fund-raising heights once again when he travels to Asia for a charity trek.
After receiving more than £6,000 in donations when he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2011, local nurse Bruce Fraser is making a fresh appeal for support as he starts his preparations for next year’s trip to the Himalayas in aid of disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
They have been given a boost by the Riverside Leisure Centre in Morpeth as operator Leisure Connection has agreed to give him free membership of its facilities until he departs.
Mr Fraser has booked his trek through the Action for Charity organisation and all the funds he collects will go to development charity Kidasha, which supports children and young people in Nepal in both rural and urban communities.
He will be part of a group that is raising money for various children’s charities.
The journey will include climbing up to Poon Hill – one of the most famous viewpoints in the world – which is 3,210m (10,531ft) high. It will also involve camping or staying with the locals in their homes.
“I’m very much looking forward to the trek as the Himalayas is a beautiful part of the world,” he said.
“At the top of Poon Hill you get a stunning, unobstructed view of the highest peaks in the Annapurna area. Many of them are close to or more than 25,000ft high.
“I will be able to see a mountain health clinic in action as well as how Kidasha helps youngsters in urban areas, which gives the trip added value.
“I was delighted to raise so much money for Diabetes UK a couple of years ago and this time I wanted to help disadvantaged people in another country.
“Kidasha works to give children and their families, if they have them, access to medical help, safe water and education and it supports vulnerable children to prevent them being sold for sex trafficking. The statistic which really struck me was that currently one-in-five kids in Nepal don’t see their fifth birthday, so hopefully lots of people will make a donation.
“My family and friends know it’s a big commitment in terms of time and effort, but they are very supportive of what I’m doing.”
In the months leading up to the Mount Kilimanjaro trek, Mr Fraser received free membership from Oasis Health Club in Ashington. This time round, the assistance has been provided by the Riverside Leisure Centre in New Market.
The 52-year-old said he was very grateful to its management for giving him access at no cost and being able to use the gym facilities and swimming pool will be extremely useful.
He added: “I will also do some training in the Lake District. I have a friend who lives there and he really puts me through my paces to get me ready, such as insisting that we climb up a big hill two or three times a day.”
Mr Fraser will be raising awareness of his trek and Kidasha’s work in local schools over the next 14 months.
Gareth Baister, Sales Manager at the Riverside Leisure Centre, said: “We’re all for supporting causes like this and so we were more than happy to help Bruce out with free membership until he sets off for Nepal in April 2014.”
To make a donation, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=BruceFraser