Friends take on Mountain adventure to support local Hospice

Andy ‘Ginge’ Brown & Rob Ward finally take on Mount Kilimanjaro adventure

It comes after being thwarted 3 times due to Covid.

Lifelong friends Ginge and Rob are about to embark on an arduous adventure of a lifetime to climb the 5,895 metres of Mount Kilimanjaro in order to raise funds for St Peter & St James Hospice.  On Christmas Eve in 2019 Ginge’s wife of 24 years, Natalie, died at the Hospice after being cared for by them since her terminal diagnosis the previous year.

Natalie and her family were supported by the services that the Hospice provided following her diagnosis and she regularly attended the creative wellbeing sessions there; affectionately referring to it as ‘playschool’. Ginge also found immense support from the counselling services that were offered to them as a family. At the Hospice, before Natalie died, Ginge and their close family friend Rob were discussing what challenges they could partake to raise funds for the Hospice. That is where the Mount Kilimanjaro idea was formed, Natalie making them promise to complete the challenge after her death.

Rob told us:“ I witnessed first hand the excellent care and support that was given to Natalie, Ginge, Joe and Molly by the Hospice and wanted to do something to help raise funds for this fantastic place. Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would be in the position we are now having raised so much.”

The pair first started planning in January 2020 with the initial aim to raise £8,000 to pay for a day of care at the Hospice. Since then and due to Covid they have had to postpone the trip 3 times.

Covid hasn’t stopped them however and whilst waiting for the timing to be right the pair, they have held various fundraising events to await their big challenge – including race nights, sponsored walks and even producing a naked calendar!

Ginge told us: “Natalie had a zest for life and she would have loved all the events we have been holding in her memory. The Hospice and staff provided immense support during a very difficult time for Natalie, myself and our children, Joseph and Molly. Through taking on these challenges and raising this money we feel we are going some way to thank them and to help other families who may be going through the same process.

If Natalie’s death doesn’t emphasise how important it is to keep living, to have fun and help others then I don’t know what does. I miss her so much but I feel privileged to have shared her beautiful crazy life and will do all I can to keep living in a way she would have grinned at”.

The pair leave for their weeklong adventure on January 22nd and have now raised over an amazing £40,000 for the Hospice on their mission to the summit. Their aim now is to reach £50,000!  If you would like to support them on their endeavour to raise funds for St Peter & St James Hospice please visit their page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-brown199

Ginge will be on Uckfield FM on Tuesday 18th January at 2pm speaking to Paddy Range about his venture