Essex mum sloping off for a steep challenge

PUBLISHED: 12:25 15 January 2010 | UPDATED: 22:07 31 May 2010

Alix Avery Picture: AWN_120110_Avery

Alix Avery Picture: AWN_120110_Avery

A MOTHER from Widdington has set her sights on climbing the highest peak in Africa in a bid to raise money for disabled children. Alix Avery, 42, has been training hard in preparation for her ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro which begins on February 26. I hav

A MOTHER from Widdington has set her sights on climbing the highest peak in Africa in a bid to raise money for disabled children.

Alix Avery, 42, has been training hard in preparation for her ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro which begins on February 26.

"I have been trying to do a good hour-long hike every day with a backpack to get in shape for the challenge," said Mrs Avery. "I also run regularly and go to the gym, but there are some things that you can't prepare for.

"You just don't know how you will be affected by the altitude - my biggest worry is that I won't be able to complete the trek.

"It doesn't matter how fit you are you can still be vulnerable to altitude sickness. There's no way to train for it so I'll just have to take it slowly and see what happens!"

Mrs Avery will be raising the money for Whizz-Kidz - a charity which builds and designs custom-made wheelchairs and mobility equipment for disabled children.

"A friend introduced me to this charity which helps give mobility to kids who don't have it," she said. "I have a background in product design so I can appreciate the amazing work they do creating these wheelchairs."

Mrs Avery is part of a group of 30 trekkers who all hope to climb the 5895m (19,341ft) high mountain in 10 days. The trek was recently completed by a group of celebrities from the UK, including Gary Barlow and Chris Moyles, who were raising money for Children in Need.

"I'm hoping to raise at least £5000 for the charity and I'm already about a third of the way there," said Mrs Avery. "My husband and three daughters have been really supportive and have helped me to set up my fundraising page online.

"I've paid for the trip myself, so all the money I raise will go towards the charity. I would be very grateful for any sponsorship that anyone can offer."

For more information about the charity visit www.whizz-kidz.org.uk To pledge money visit Mrs Avery's sponsorship page at www.justgiving.com/alixavery

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