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Midshire supports Leah Wharton with charity climb

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Local Stockport girl Leah Wharton, age 19 is celebrating after recently climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for charity. Leah set off on the 6 day trek aiming to conquer the 4th highest mountain in the world, which stands at 5,895m.

The Roehampton University Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies student first got involved with charity work at university, having joined the ‘Team Roehampton climbs Kili for Clean Water’.

Leah and a team of 11 others set about fundraising for 9 months to raise money for Dig Deep, a charity that helps people in East Africa access clean water.

Midshire was hugely impressed by Leah’s efforts and has supported her by donating £350 to her fundraising page.

Having left the UK on 26th August, Leah started the actual climb on the 28th August. It took 4 and a half days to trek from the base camp height of 4,600m up to the highest point. Suffering from altitude sickness, Leah reached 5,200m before being made to descend back to the base camp.

Midshires above the cloudsLeah struggled with altitude sickness from day 2, and found that it was not easy to overcome. The sickness left Leah unable to eat and she suffered from hallucinations. Leah said,

‘Anyone who thinks altitude sickness is mental, has never experienced it!’

After descending to base camp, Leah felt the sickness immediately ease. The further she descended the more her appetite returned, and she started to feel much better.

It was the guides, porters and overall group that made the experience special with day 4 being Leah’s favourite. The day involved rock climbing Barranco Wall without helmets or harnesses. The team simply had to watch and listen to the guides as they had the experience of the region and knew exactly how to move across the rock face.

End of KiliClimbing Kilimanjaro was the culmination of months of fundraising, which has included numerous bake sales, bag packing at supermarkets and a ‘Walk for Water’ event, which involved walking 26km along the river Thames. To date Leah has personally raised £3,016, which is incredibly impressive. As a team, the Roehampton university students have raised £24,000, which should go a long way to helping Dig Deep increase access to clean water for those in East Africa.

Dig Deep helps people in East Africa access clean water by implementing sustainable systems that ensure the projects continue to supply water in the long term. Creating access to clean water also has a number of social implications. It helps women into more of an equal role in the community, as water collecting has traditionally been a role women undertake. As a result of water projects women are not having to spend as much time collecting water. Putting local people at the forefront empowers them to improve their communities.

One specific project was Kagasek Primary and Secondary schools located in Ndanai, a remote rural community in south-west Kenya.

Dig Deep and partners helped to construct rainwater storage solutions, creating a system which now provides enough clean water for the drinking and washing needs of staff and students. This water system now allows students to spend longer at school, rather than walking to collect water. Furthermore, the water is safer and cleaner, so the risk of disease is reduced.

Commenting on the whole challenge Leah Wharton said:

‘It was hands down the best experience I have taken part in and I would encourage anybody to go for it. It isn’t easy but it’s worth it.’

Midshire was pleased to be able to support Leah on her adventure in Tanzania. We are pleased that Leah has raised such a vast sum for a very worthwhile cause.

For any further information about Dig Deep, the charity Leah supported, please follow this link directly to their website.