A DEDICATED father has fought his way back from injury to scale Mount Kilimanjaro to raise nearly £5000 to help keep the city’s children safe.
Andrew Jackson, 47, who is an integral part of the Children’s 1st team, will face the Tanzanian mountain today after using the Pentlands and Scotland’s wilderness to train.
Leaving his day job as a service manager at Children 1st far behind him, Andrew hopes past injuries won’t stop him over nine days of tough trekking through five climate zones on the four-mile-high peak.
Andrew, who lives in Trinity with his wife and 14-year-old son, said: “At Children 1st, I play a part in delivering vital services across Scotland that help to protect children and aid their recovery from trauma. Soon after joining the charity about 18 months ago, I really wanted to do something to support it beyond just my job.
“That, plus my childhood memories of reading about Mount Kilimanjaro in adventure books and comics, meant I knew this was the right challenge for me.” He added: “I’ve suffered very badly in the past from orthopaedic problems, having had a slipped disc, severe back pain, arthritic toe joints and knees that crack like gunshots, but I’ve come back from that for this challenge, though the most difficult part of preparing for it is having to admit I’m getting old – or so my knees are still telling me.
“I’ve been to parts of Africa before, but never to Tanzania and never to do anything like this, so I’m really looking forward to going back there.
“My only concern is not being able to reach the summit after all my training, but I’ll be hitting it with my best shot.
“I’m overwhelmed by all the support I’ve received so far and extremely grateful to everyone for their donations. Hopefully I can do them all proud.”
Andrew hit his target of £4500 just days before departure, but he hopes to have gone way beyond the mark by the time he returns from the challenge. He will be joined by ten other Scots from all walks of life, including representatives from the NHS, fund managers Brewin Dolphin and accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), as they aim to fly the charity flag from the plateau after a 19,341ft endurance climb.
The money raised will help Children 1st’s work to promote the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children, young people and their families in Scotland by offering help and support to survivors of abuse, neglect and other childhood trauma.
Mary Glasgow, interim chief executive at Children 1st, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Andrew and the team who have chosen to embark on this experience of a lifetime to raise crucial funds for Children 1st.
“It’s been humbling to witness the great fundraising efforts the group have gone to already and to see them put themselves forward for such a physically and mentally challenging adventure.
“Not only will this be an incredible experience for the participants, but the money raised will be life changing to children and families who are in desperate need of our support across Scotland.”
Donations can be made at mountkilimanjaro2018.everydayhero.com/uk/andrew -jackson-1.