A Montrose man is trekking to Mount Kenya this week, to raise money for Save the Children.
Jamie Kinghorn (43) starts his trek tomorrow (February 28) and it is expected to last until March 4, with the summit reached on March 3.
Trek for Kids is a joint initiative from GSK and Save the Children. Jamie is one of 40 GSK employees from around the world will take part in the trek.
The aim was to raise £160,000 for the charity, but together the trekkers have smashed their goal, reaching £250,000. The total will then be matched by GSK.
Jamie, who is communications manager at GSK’s Montrose manufacturing site, was chosen from over 650 applications from employees worldwide for their creative fundraising ideas.
He is the only GSK employee based in Scotland who will take part in the trek.
Tasked with raising £4000 each, Jamie met his target through a range of activities such as raffles, cake sales, pub quizzes and selling spaces on the T-shirts that he will be climbing Mount Kenya in.
With a final cake sale at work just two days before leaving for Kenya, Jamie reached £8000, double his original target.
He has also been training for the hike to the 5000m summit by climbing the mountains of Scotland, from Mount Keen in Angus to Ben Nevis itself, the UK’s highest point.
During Jamie’s time in Kenya, he will visit Bungoma County, in the north west of the country. This is where he will learn more about the programme being delivered by GSK and Save the Children and how it is helping to reduce maternal and newborn mortality by increasing access to quality health systems and services.
Jamie said: “I feel really lucky to have this amazing landscape so close to where I live on the east coast of Scotland. It’s been the perfect training ground for me.
“I’m sure the community visit in Bumgoma County will be a humbling and inspiring experience. I’m really looking forward to gaining an insight into how Save the Children are helping children in really difficult circumstances, and bringing my experience back home to hopefully inspire people to go the extra mile when it comes to supporting people in need of our help.”
“My trek t-shirts are full of the names of family, friends and colleagues who have been very generous to this cause, so I feel that in a way they will be with me all the way to the top of Mount Kenya!
“I have really enjoyed the fundraising experience. Raising £4000 seemed like a mountain to climb when I was tasked with it last year, so doubling it has been a huge achievement. It’s given me so much motivation, as I need to keep up my end of the bargain by being as fit as I can be for the trek.”
GSK Montrose Site Director Les Thomson added: “We’re really proud that Jamie will be representing the Montrose site and indeed Scotland as part of Trek for Kids, contributing towards the GSK and Save the Children partnership’s ambition of helping to save the lives of children in some of the world’s poorest countries. We’ll be following his journey closely and look forward to hearing all about his adventure on his return.”