A DETERMINED mum aims to conquer Africa’s highest mountain as she raises money for a children’s charity that has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Siobhan MacLennan, from Bridge of Weir, will take on Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, next September in aid of Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS).

The mum-of-two, who is a member of the charity’s events committee, is hoping to reach new heights on the tough 10-day trek to the summit.
Siobhan, 36, told The Gazette: “It’s going to be totally new experience for me.

“I’ve done some running events for CHAS in the past and I like to challenge myself and try new things, so I’m really excited about it.

“I hope it will be inspiring for my kids as well and encourage them to support good causes. I know my eight-year-old daughter is dead excited about it but my older daughter thinks I’m completely bonkers.”

Each year, around 30,000 people visit Mount Kilimanjaro but fewer than 60 per cent of climbers reach the summit, which is at a height of almost 20,000 feet.

Siobhan will also be undertaking a variety of different fundraising activities over the course of this year to reach her goal of coining in £5,000 for CHAS.

The charity, which supports families of kids with life-shortening conditions, has faced money worries during the Covid crisis.

Siobhan said: “We’ve had to cancel all our high-profile events this year, so the charity is losing around £500,000 in fundraising from those.

“CHAS is such a wonderful organisation and does amazing work, so I’m trying to do something every month to keep funds topped up.”

During August, Siobhan raised around £250 by making face coverings with the help of a friend and, this month, she aims to run 100 miles as part of CHAS’s ‘Run 100 Raise 100’ event.

Next month, she will take part in the charity’s virtual gala event, The Great CHAS Dinner Party, by hosting a small gathering for her close family, as well as steering clear of booze as she takes on the Sober October challenge.

Siobhan added: “Taking part in Sober October might not sound too hard but I work for the beverage company Pernod Ricard, so alcohol is very much part of my life.”

To support Siobhan’s efforts, visit facebook.com/siobhandoeskilimanjaro.