Climbing Kilimanjaro

Team story

Link to Virgin Money Giving page

Myself and my partner, Tony have taken on the challenge of climbing Mount Killimanjaro in February 2020 in support of The Mary Ward Settlement Appeal. The Settlement works alongside Londoners, supporting and enabling them to reach their potential and build better futures. Each year, we empower over 9,500 people, including the most disadvantaged – isolated and elderly Londoners, people with severe and enduring mental health conditions, those with disabilities and long-term health conditions, and those on low-incomes.

We are creating a new purpose-built specialist centre in Stratford, Newham. With Stratford’s excellent transport, we’ll remain accessible to people across London, whilst also able to meet needs in East London – an area with significant inequalities and opportunities and a rapidly growing population. An extra 3,500 people a year will be able to access our adult education, community and legal services.

We’ve bought a building and plan to expand, refurbish and equip it, making Mary Ward East a modern, fully accessible space for learners and the community alike. There will be 35% more learning space, including specialist classrooms such as art, craft, IT and a dedicated performance space. The specialist legal advice area will provide free advice to some of the most disadvantaged Londoners. Enhanced community facilities will include a café, open access IT and green spaces.

Total costs are £11.7m. We’ve secured £5.67m from the Skills for Londoners Capital Fund and are investing our own funds. We’re securing a bank loan and now need to raise the remaining 9%.

Can you help Tony and I to raise funds at this crucial moment? We’re climbing because we believe in the Settlement’s work to support people to access the opportunities we all take for granted. We’ve personally seen the difference – the life-changing difference – our services make every day to people.

People like John. John arrived at the Mary Ward Centre in 2005, virtually homeless and with mental health problems and depression, wishing to study art. We were able to help him start on some art classes and assist with materials and travel expenses. The courses had a positive impact, providing focus and the discipline to work through a course from start to finish. It was clear that he enjoyed the classes and was also talented. Since then he has completed a Level 3 qualification in Art and Design and has been inspired to exhibit his work. With our continued support he is thriving on his current classes at the centre.

Tony and I are covering the entire cost of the expedition ourselves which takes place during our holidays – so you can be as generous as you are able.

With your support, we can ensure our specialist assistance is available to even more Londoners, including the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. Read more about how we change lives http://www.marywardcentre.ac.uk/about/what-our-students-say/

Because Mary Ward Settlement is a registered charity, UK taxpayers can make donations tax-efficiently with Gift Aid – increasing the value of your gift and decreasing the cost. Monthly donations enable supporters to spread the contribution over a number of years, which helps to make a larger gift affordable. For just the cost of a coffee and cake given monthly over three years, with Gift Aid, you can give make a gift of £250 – or £400 if you’re a higher rate taxpayer.

Please give generously. Thank you.