Lucie’s big Kili climb boosts charity

Pub manager Lucie Gillett is back behind her seaside bar after successfully climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for a charity close to her heart.

She and sister Rebecca scaled the 5680m-tall volcano in Tanzania and look set to raise more than �15,000 for Motor Neurone Disease Association because their father is suffering from the condition.

Frank Gillett, a 65-year-old former agricultural contractor from Hainford, was diagnosed with the progressive incurable disease three and half years ago.

'We wanted to do something and signed up for the climb after seeing the celebrities do it for Comic Relief,' said Lucie who runs the White Horse at Overstrand.

And they shared some of the agony endured by the high profile climbers, and many others tackling the challenge.

'It was hell. Awful. But we can smile about it now, and we met some inspirational people along the way,' said Lucie.

'At the start it was hot in the high 20s. As we went up it changed from jungle to jungle to moonscape and got very cold, with long days of walking.

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'We saw people being stretchered down in a bad way. But we took it slowly to acclimatise, and only had headaches and a bit of dizziness.

'On summit day we got up at 11pm and reached the top at sunrise which was worth it.'

It took five and half days to get up, and one and a half to get down.

Lucie has raised about �5,000 and sister Rebecca, a farm secretary from Suffolk, �10,000 so far.

The pub has staged events including raffles and quizzes, and will also put proceeds from a Christmas sing song on December 19 towards the total.

People can still support Lucie's fund-raising by visiting www.justgiving.com/lucie-gillett2010 or drop in the pub to put a pledge on the sponsor form.