Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Let's Do This

Today Donna and I went for a stroll to get her moving after her op. I don't know her at all, so this was a great opportunity to get to know her and see why she is climbing. 

Donna may have been quiet and has struggled to make the practice walks as she works long hours. I can see a pretty determined person though! She has given up smoking for around 16 weeks now and we chose her walking boots today.

This event is amazing as well as raising some much needed funds for The Steve Charles Help a Friend Fund. It has given me the chance to meet some new people. This challenge scares the hell out of me but I'm not the only scared one! It's the fear of the unknown. We have no idea how the altitude will affect us, all we can do is pull together as a group of random individuals and help each other get up this mountain! 

We all have our reasons for wanting to do this but if we pull together we can all make this! In the words of Tommy Lillington .... let's do this.

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Thursday, 15 August 2013

Warm Festival 2013 Roundup

The Warm Festival 2013
By Jack Daniels

On Sunday 11th August 2013 The Steve Charles Help a Friend had its 4th annual “Warm Festival” at The Borough Gardens in Dorchester. The event is not only a day to make more people aware of the Charity but also to remember absent friends who are no longer with us, such as Steve Charles & Julian Slade.

This year the team climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for The Steve Charles Help a Friend Fund came along to run stalls and activities to help with fund raising.

The sun shone and the gardens were packed with nearly 1000 people all enjoying the live music. The day went amazingly well with over £2000 being raised for the charity.

Since Sunday we have also had people requesting help from the charity, so as an awareness day it was a great success as well.

The Steve Charles Help a Friend Fund now has funds available to anybody from Dorchester and the surrounding villages who are seriously ill and need a little extra help, and to aid in giving people a better quality of life.

You can apply for help by emailing

The next event will be The Hecklers Ball on Good Friday 2014. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.

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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

We Thought Golden Cap Was The Hard Bit

So I haven't been out walking for a while, so I text Jack to ask if he fancies a stroll. We end up walking Charmouth to West Bay!

Tim brings some friends along to join us on this mammoth task. I joke beforehand and ask "can we run up any hills?". Rule number 2 is no running according to Tim... I've yet to learn what rule number 1 is!

So we set off and it's a gorgeous sunny day and a very enjoyable start. Jack is not happy unless it hurts. So he starts to run up some of the hills!! Now he is showing me up so I attempt to catch up. I manage it but my legs are seriously burning.

We make it to the top of Golden Cap and have a short rest before continuing to West Bay. We thought Golden Cap was the hard wasn't really, it was the next 3 hills!!! Yet more running up the hills from Jack and speedy walking from Tim long legs.

We eventually make it to West Bay and head to the pub for a shandy. It was an amazing training walk and we really are so lucky to live by the coast. I never appreciated it before this challenge! I would love to arrange this walk for everyone as it's a real good one.

By the way Lee and I had a great day on Sunday at the Warm Festival. We aimed at keeping children busy (and adults) by luring them in with Lego! I build boards for a knight race game and a pirate v shark game. Plus we sold soft drinks, sweets and craft items.

Thank you to everyone who supported us. I think everyone had a fantastic day. We were pleased to provide the winner of our golden bucket with £55 which was a good return for their £1 entry!

We had some lovely words from people wishing all the Kili team the best of luck and it was lovely.

This challenge is getting closer now and very real. I best get on and buy some new boots soon as I don't think mine are going to make it! Until next time ...

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Monday, 12 August 2013

New Joiners, Fundraising, Appendicitis and Training

Carole in a kit bag!
By Jaime Burton

So we have all been a little quiet for a while now but we are all really busy preparing for the climb! We had a meeting recently to discuss arrangements. We met in the Chalk and Cheese as Ally Murray is now joining us on our climb. Jack brought along a duffle bag which we need to fit all our kit in and to prove how big it really was, Carole kindly got inside it!

We are all trying to fit walks in as much as possible in-between our day jobs and busy family lives. We have some great events coming up to help raise funds for our climbs.  I have a Christmas Party on Friday 13th December at the Corn Exchange. I am also holding a cake stall at work on Friday 13th September. Carole Landon is holding a Wine Tasking Night at Panini's on Friday 13th September. We also had the annual Warm Festival in Borough Gardens on Sunday 11th August.

Lee and I still have some kit to buy and have spent a few hours looking through eBay for those bargains!

Back at the end of May a number of the group went Kingston Country Courtyard for an excellent hike followed by wine tasting. We walked from Corfe Castle to Swanage and there were some amazing coastal views. We rushed back in a taxi, then had a quick shower and change ready for wine tasting! A great night was had by all.

The Lillingtons and the Burtons went on a camping weekend and also managed a hike to Golden Cap early one morning, so training is never far from our minds!

We currently have a poorly climber...Donna who has had her appendix out. We are all wishing her the very best and hope she is back on her feet soon and climbing up the hills. Before her operation Donna held a fantastic Quiz night in the Colliton Club. I believe she raised around £500 for the cause and again we all had an amazing night..

Jane has now moved back from France and will be joining us on our training walks. She is also undertaking a half marathon in Cardiff in September, again raising money for the Steve Charles Help a Friend Fund. I am attempting some training runs with her and wish her the best of luck. Go Jane!

Al Murray is getting waxed to raise his funds...that's got to hurt!! Good Luck Al, I saw how hairy your chest was! Ouch!

So we are all really busy working towards raising lots of money for our amazing local Charity - The Steve Charles Help A Friend Fund.

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Thursday, 8 August 2013

Tommy Gets Sentimental About Old Boots

Goodbye old boots, hello newbies!!
By Tommy Lillington

There comes a time in all our lives when for whatever reason we have to say goodbye to dear friends. I have to say, regrettably, I have just reached such a point. Two dear friends of mine have just reached the end of the road and I have had to make the tough decision to say goodbye to my old walking boots. "Why so sentimental about an old pair of boots?" I hear you cry.

Allow me to explain; I bought these boots just after I made the decision to get fit and lose weight, and decided that hiking was going to be my thing. I then started a nine month training programme to climb the three peaks (Ben Nevis, Scaffel Pike and Snowdon) which entailed walking the wonderful Dorset coast week in and week out, gradually upping the distance and difficulty as time went on. Not once during this time did my old boots complain; in fact I have to say from the first time I put them on they felt as comfortable as a pair of slippers.

Over time the weight came off, my stamina and fitness increased and my old pals took me up the three peaks in July 2012. This was followed by a lovely hiking break in the Lake District with my wife later that year. Kilimanjaro is now on the horizon, (please see my earlier blog posts for how the training is going to date) and I have to say I couldn't have got even this far without my old friends.

So you see to me these are not just any old pair of boots, they have taken me on a journey in more ways than one. Of course I won't just discard them to one side never to be seen again, I will keep them for the odd dog walk and maybe some gardening and will certainly never forget that they have changed my life.

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