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Care for cousin sparks fundraising adventure

Alice Dowek in training for her Kilimanjaro climb

Press release issued: 6 August 2014

University of Bristol student Alice Dowek will face her fears when she attempts to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in September to raise money for charity.

The 19 year-old, who studies French and Spanish, will climb the world’s highest free standing peak and aims to raise £4,000 for The Children’s Trust.

Alice’s cousin, Hannah Stanger-France, suffered a cardiac arrest at one-year-old which caused severe brain damage and led to cerebral palsy. Hannah, who is now 15, was supported by The Children's Trust, a charity who care for young people with severe brain injuries and complex health needs. The Children's Trust also offer support to families. Alice aims to raise awareness of their work as well as raising money for their cause.

Alice, who is not usually a sporty person, said: “I have a real fear of flying and I used to scream and cry if I had to walk a mile when I was little. Climbing Kilimanjaro will be a real personal challenge - it is a once in a life-time opportunity and I feel that now is the time to push myself to my limits on behalf of such a wonderful charity.”

She will join 20 other climbers on 4 September, when she leaves for Tanzania. Once there, they will embark on the week long expedition, camping at a different site each night.

Various University of Bristol societies have supported Alice’s journey so far. PantoSoc donated the proceeds of their most recent show to Alice’s fundraising efforts, and the Explorer’s Society have been training with her in the hills around Bristol and advising on techniques Alice will need to summit Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru Peak.

Alice, who is originally from Wimbledon, London, is determined to beat the altitude sickness - and her concerns about unusual insects - to reach the peak.

When asked about how she is feeling in the run up to 4 September, Alice said: “I have had the climb planned for over a year, but it is only now that the reality of the challenge is sinking in. Naturally I am very scared. I am also excited to leave for Tanzania and I am overwhelmed at the support I am receiving from friends, family and strangers.”

The £4,000 she hopes to raise will go towards the Children’s Trust’s various running costs – maintenance of the lifts and grounds, upkeep of the hydrotherapy pool and multi-sensory rooms, residences for the children and their families, upkeep of the School for Profound Education, counselling services, day-trips, and modifications to home environments.

More details about Alice’s climb and fundraising can be found on Facebook and her JustGiving page.

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