Development technologist Helen Ford, from chilled and frozen prepared meal manufacturer Anglia Crown, has climbed to the top of Mount Toubkal in North Africa with her eight-year old son and husband to raise money for St Helena’s Hospice in Colchester.
Following the climb, the Guinness Book of Records suggested not only is eight-year old Sam Ford believed to be the youngest child from the UK to successfully summit Mount Toubkal, but that he is probably one of only four children under the age of 11 in the world to summit the mountain. The family has applied to have this confirmed.
Standing at an impressive 4,167 metres (13,671 ft), Mount Taubkal it is the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, North Africa. Following in the footsteps of his father who has agreed to climb Kilimanjaro in October 2019, the ambitious climb was devised following the passing of Sam’s grandfather from cancer. His grandfather was cared for at St Helena’s Hospice during the last weeks of his life.
Intrepidly, the family set off on the challenge to trek to the summit. They encountered severe weather conditions including deep snow and a dramatic drop in temperature, and at only eight years old Sam, had to have his crampons custom made for him.
Helen commented; “Once we eventually reached the summit it was worth every step. You could see the whole mountain range in one direction and the Sahara Dessert in the other.” The trek took the Ford family nine hours to climb up and down and due to high winds of around 70miles per hour, Sam was roped to the guide.
Helen adds: “Sam has a lot of energy but what we were most amazed about was his sheer grit and determination to reach that summit. He did not give in.”
Paul Howell, director of Anglia Crown adds: “Helen and her family showed enormous strength of character in completing this incredible and gruelling task. As a business we are extremely proud to be longstanding supporters of St Helena’s Hospice and so proud of Helen and her family for supporting the charity is such a unique way.
St. Helena Hospice in Colchester is Anglia Crown’s chosen charity. Every year, its employees take part in a midnight walk, which starts and finishes at Stanfords in Severalls Business Park, Colchester. This year, a team of four from Anglia Crown took part in the 4.5mile walk. Participants included technical manager Karen Acfield, HR manager Louise Hunt, company dietitian Ruth Smith and raw material technologist Carolyn Allington.
This year to date, they have raised £3,260
To make a donation to St. Helena Hospice, please visit https://www.sthelena.org.uk/how-you-can-help-us/donate
Donations can still be made to Sam Ford’s JustGiving page, at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sam-ford20?utm_id=25