Father and son climb Kilimanjaro for foundation

TOP OF THE WORLD: Alex and Chris Jordan at Gilman's Point, 5,800 metres up Mount Kilimanjaro.

TOP OF THE WORLD: Alex and Chris Jordan at Gilman's Point, 5,800 metres up Mount Kilimanjaro.

First published in Local Kidderminster Shuttle: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

THE father and brother of Emily Jordan, who died in a riverboarding accident in New Zealand, climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro with the aim of raising money for her foundation.

Chris and son Alex Jordan, of Trimpley, reached the top of the largest mountain in Africa, which stands at nearly 5,900 metres high, after four days of walking.

The pair have so far raised £2,800 but anticipate the final total to reach about £4,000 for the Emily Jordan Foundation, which helps individuals with moderate learning and physical disabilities.

Chris said: “The route up was difficult - very soft - a bit like walking on a sandhill.

“The starting altitude was 4700 metres and we were going up to about 5800 metres, so altitude is an issue as the air pressure is about 45% what it is at sea level, making breathing difficult.

“You also have the effects of altitude all the time, headaches and nausea. It’s a bit like a constant hangover.”

Starting their final summit walk at midnight, this meant the duo would reach the top of the mountain in time to watch the sun rise.

Chris said: “We got to the top at about 6.15am to see a great sunrise through the clouds. We were a long way above them by then.

“It was very cold, minus 23 degrees plus windchill, so probably about minus 30, but it was great to get there.”

The foundation supports Wyre Forest-based projects Spokes, Twigs and Wood-works, which help people with learning disabilities gain self-esteem, skills, and experience.

Twigs supplies day opportunities and employment development skills through a variety of different projects and was launched in 2013 to help individuals who came to the foundation to develop new skills around gardening and horticulture.

Wood-works also started last year and helps attendees get involved in the manufacturing of many different wood products, from bird boxes to flower troughs, welly pullers and toolboxes.

Spokes is a social enterprise which aims to train young people with learning difficulties to enter the workplace.

Alex has moderate learning difficulties himself and Chris was full of praise for what his son is able to achieve.

“Alex did very well,” he said.

“It is great to see what this group of guys are capable of if given the opportunity.”

The climb is just one of many adventures Alex has completed to raise money for the foundation, set up in the memory of his sister.

In 2006 he walked up Mount Kenya, raising more than £13,000 for Mencap and in 2009 he cycled from Land's End to John O'Groats, collecting more than £25,000.

Last year he rode his bike from Barcelona to Kidderminster, raising more than £11,000 to start the twigs project.

The pair are not done with fundraising yet and are continuing to take part in activities to raise money for the foundation.

Future events include a football competition and running two boats in the Bewdley Dragon Boat Festival on August 23.

To donate to Chris and Alex, visit justgiving.com/Alex-Jordan-KillyChallenge

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