Kilimanjaro a fundraising hit

Jane and Mark Skelton are pictured in their group prior to the final ascent on Kilimanjaro NNL-140804-102049001
Jane and Mark Skelton are pictured in their group prior to the final ascent on Kilimanjaro NNL-140804-102049001

Banbury charity Home-Start is to benefit from the efforts of one of its kind-hearted staff who climbed 19,341 feet up Mount Kilimanjaro.

Jane Shelton, senior organiser for the charity, tackled the Tanzanian mountain alongside her son Mark.

So far she has raised more than £2,500 to help Home-Start continue to fund its support services for vulnerable familes with young children in Banbury and Chipping Norton.

“We were in a group of 22 people and all of us made it,” said Mrs Skelton.

“It was an amazing experience. It was really tough and tested my body to its limits but I met some lovely people and the sense of achievement is fantastic.

“Climbing Kilimanjaro has been on my bucket list for several years, so to have actually been able to take on the challenge and succeed is very satisfying. Despite having some incredibly long and gruelling days during the challenge, the team spirit within the group was superb.

“That, together with the amazing support team – guides, porters and chef – and sheer determination meant we all succeeded and collectively managed to raise in the region of £55,000 for charity.

“I would definitely consider doing another challenge and intend to stay in touch with the group.

“We have already arranged a ‘reunion’ later in the year,” she said.

The 11-day trip started and ended at London Heathrow and a flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport via Addis Ababa.

The trek went through unspoiled rainforest and exciting wilderness rich in flora and fauna. The party stayed in established camp sites.

During the first couple of days the group were given time to acclimatise before the start of a trek to higher ground, across a plateau and through a valley with spectacular scenery all around.

Steeper climbing on the way towards the summit called for courage and endurance with the effects of altitude for the walkers to contend with.

On the eighth day of the trip – with the group setting out just after midnight and walking through the darkness – they made it to the summit of Kilimanjaro where photos were taken before the start of the long descent.

Mrs Skelton’s fundraising page is still active online and anyone wishing to make a donation to mark her achievement should visit