Photo: Air Ambulance paramedic Ben Macauley, Brett Coleman, Scott Fegan and Dr Emma Rowland at the former helicopter base at Dunsfold
An Ashington father is to embark on a challenge to climb the tallest freestanding mountain in the world in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.
Brett Coleman, 34, decided to raise funds for the life-saving charity helicopter after a neighbour was rescued by the pilot, doctor and critical care paramedic.
He has already completed two marathons in two weeks – London and Brighton – but is now setting his sights 19,341ft higher by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.
Brett will be joined by friend Scott Fegan, 42, and it will take them seven days to reach the summit when they fly out to Tanzania next October.
He said: “Hot on the heels of two marathons in two weeks, I decided to up the game slightly. I spent 10 years of my life in five-star hotels working for BA so camping will be very testing.
“We chose to raise funds for the Air Ambulance because in February a neighbour was seriously hurt in an accident which resulted in the parents of their child needing a miracle.
“A miracle happened because of the efforts of the Air Ambulance team and the fact that they carry a specialist doctor and critical care paramedic on board.”
The 18-year-old was involved in a road traffic collision in Ashington and was given emergency treatment at the road-side – procedures usually performed in hospital.
She was then flown the specialist neurological centre at King’s College Hospital in London in just 16 minutes – a journey that would have taken more than an hour by road.
She is still in hospital and undergoing rehabilitation and Brett and Scott are aiming to raise a grand total of £10,000 for the Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on donations.
They raised £2,300 from Ashington Village Ball earlier this month (October 6th) including a raffle and silent auction.
Prizes included a one-night stay at a hotel and an exclusive tour of the Bentley factory, a signed Brighton and Hove Albion shirt and a gliding lesson.
Brett added: “The evening was a massive success and once again we would like to thank all those involved in getting the evening to be what it was. It has already been asked whether we will be organising another ball next year.”
Brett and Scott have signed up to run the Brighton half marathon and are planning further fundraising events in the village. To sponsor them go to www.justgiving.com/kili13 or text tanz58 £5 or tanz58 £10 to 70070.