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Blurton school trio to scale Kilimanjaro for charity

Posted on: June 8, 2017

Three adventurous school workers are preparing to climb the highest freestanding mountain in the world to raise money for charity.

Danny McLaughlin, Pete Jepson and Sarah Weaver hope to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, which stands at 19,341 feet above sea level. They all work at Blurton’s Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy and hope to complete the challenge over six days in August.

Danny, the school’s attendance manager, came up with the idea. The 57-year-old, from Hanford, said: “We hope to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK, a wonderful charity pursuing a vital cause.

“We are reaching out to sponsors who are interested in seeing their company logo at the top of Kilimanjaro or on clothes they have donated to us, like merino wool garments which we will need for summit night, when the temperature drops below freezing.”

Danny is no stranger to challenges as he has competed in more than 50 marathons, as well as three 50-mile ‘ultra distance running’ events. He also took on the Marathon De Sables, which covers 155 miles across the Sahara Desert.

Peter, a senior ICT technician, also has experience of taking part in 100-mile cycling sportives, along with the Three Peaks challenge.

The 46-year-old, from Blurton, described tackling Mount Kilimanjaro as ‘stepping up to the next level’. He said: “It’s going to be physically challenging for each of us due to the lack of oxygen.”

“I’ve personally been affected by cancer and it is affecting people in the academy. I’ve had a couple of relatives pass away from cancer.”

As well as supporting Cancer Research UK, the trio will be raising funds for the Year 11 leaving party at Keele University next year.


Sarah, who is head of design and technology at the school, has previously been white water rafting on the Kicking Horse River and has taken helicopter rides over glaciers. She also spent four weeks trekking across Canada, visiting Yoho, Jasper and Banff National Parks.

The 28-year-old, from Stone, said: “I’ve been training over the last few months and, hopefully by the time it comes round, I won’t be so shocked.

“We all pitched in ideas for who we wanted to raise money for and Cancer Research UK resonated with all of us. We have all been affected by this in one way or another.”

So far, they have raised £565, but have set themselves a target of £1,500. To make a donation, click here.