A WEST Chiltington businessman is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for charity.
Martyn Wilks, from West Chiltington, is the executive managing director of Dairy Crest Foods. Along with nine other chief executives from UK food and drink companies such as Warburtons and Sainsbury’s, they will start their climb in Africa today (Saturday September 24) and aim to finish on Friday September 30.
The money raised will go to FARM-Africa, a British charity working to end poverty and hunger in eastern Africa.
Martyn said: “I’ve worked in the food industry all my life and I am very aware that we are facing an impending world food shortage.
“Taking on this challenge to raise funds for FARM-Africa is my own small way of trying to make a positive contribution to tackling hunger in eastern Africa.”
Climbing Kilimanjaro soars 19,341 feet above sea level and getting to the top is the equivalent of scaling Big Ben 61 times.
Preparation for the climb has been hard work and Martyn has been undertaking a lot of different activities to get ready. He has been cycling regularly through Pulborough, Storrington, Billingshurst and Arundel, while also going on several long distance hikes on the South Downs path with his German shorthaired pointer Coco.
However, Martyn is no stranger to a challenge having already completed a few marathons and even a triathlon.
Talking about the end of the journey he said: “I’ll want a bath, a beer and a cuddle, not necessarily in that order.”
Adding that he will miss his partner, Julie the most.
So far Martyn has raised over £3000, to donate visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MartynWilks.
To read the teams progress visit the expedition blog at: www.kiliclimb-farmafrica.org.uk.