A DETERMINED team of charity trekkers are preparing to tackle a gruelling climb with a view of raising vital funds for young school children in need.

Benin Christian Support, based in Thorpe-le-Soken, is a non-profit organisation providing humanitarian aid to orphans and widows in west Africa.

The charity’s founder, Penny Waterman, is now set to scale Ben Nevis alongside her granddaughter, Amelia, 7, who attends Alton Park Junior School, in Clacton.

The pair will be joined by willing walkers Gill Kendall, chairman of Benin Christian Support, and Sue and Paul Mills, of Birmingham, who are supporters of the cause.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

The challenge started when Penny set out to walk 2021 miles in a bid to raise money for all of the children located in Benin who are being cared for by the charity.

Maureen Saunders, a spokeswoman for the organisation said: “Benin is one of the poorest countries on the planet.

“Penny wanted her efforts to benefit all our children in Benin, so has turned it into a fundraiser by climbing Ben Nevis as well.

“Amelia, Gill, Sue and Paul wanted to give her moral support so decided to join in on the climb.

“Amelia has been walking many miles with the family dogs, regularly walking seven miles three or four times a week to make sure she is fit for the climb ahead.”

The group will take on the towering Ben Nevis, located in Scotland, on October 16, alongside an experienced guide who will help them tackle the 4,000ft mountain.

The climb will be far from easy, but perhaps not quite as much of a struggle as the challenges faced by the charity itself over the last 18-months.

Maureen added: “Things have been very difficult for the charity during the pandemic, constantly struggling to raise the money needed to keep all our projects on course.

“At the moment we are paying for everything, including schooling, inscriptions, holiday coaching, which is compulsory, books, equipment and fees.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

“This is amounting to, in the region of, £8,000 - we have sponsors but for children's education more money is always needed.”

Donations can be transferred directly into Benin Christian Support’s HSBC bank account, for which the sort code is 40-21-25 and the account number 11392840.

If you would like to receive a newsletter about the charity called 01255 862618 or 07930 938444 and ask for Maureen Saunderes.