Diocese of Portsmouth

    Vicar to climb mountain to fundraise for hospice

    Faith stories
    21 April 2022

    left to right: Kerry Dargan, Amanda Collinson, Zoe Mann and Lisa Moore (crouching) – the team that will tackle Kilimanjaro

    AN Isle of Wight vicar will climb Africa’s highest peak to help raise money for the island’s hospice.

    The Rev Amanda Collinson, vicar of Northwood and Gurnard churches, will be taking on the challenge of Mount Kilimanjaro this September with some friends. They hope to raise £20,000 together.

    She was inspired to do so because of the help that the hospice staff have given in caring for friends since her arrival on the island in 2013, including Jill Dargan who died last year. Amanda is climbing Kilimanjaro in her memory with Jill’s daughter Zoe and daughter-in-law Kerry.

    Amanda said: “Mountbatten Hospice is the most wonderful of places, full of ‘earthly angels’. Sadly, I have needed the help of these amazing people too many times since we arrived in 2013 – for dear friends like Jill, my ‘island mum’, my awesome neighbour Val, and many, many lovely parishioners and community members who have had cancer.

    “When the sufferers, their family and friends are going through the horrendous turmoil of diagnosis, treatment and, regrettably for many, end-of-life discussions, the staff of Mountbatten provide a calm place, vital support and most importantly unlimited love.

    “They see us, and hold us, when we are at our most vulnerable, broken and in despair … and bless them, they consider it a privilege to look after our loved ones in their final weeks and then continue to support the families (mentally and emotionally) afterwards.

    “I have rarely shied away from a challenge, but this is quite something! Climbing Kilimanjaro will require a whole world of determination, reliance, strength and effort. But it will be nothing to what our loved ones have gone through during their cancer journeys or what the amazing staff at Mountbatten do on a daily basis. So, there is no excuse!”

    Amanda, Zoe and Kerry will climb Kilimanjaro in September with family friend Lisa Moore. They practised with a climb of Pen-y-fan in Wales, pictured above.

    Amanda has also teamed up with the talented Hannah Brear and her award-winning Medina Community Choir to hold a concert to raise funds. The gospel concert, to be held at St Mary's Church, Cowes on April 23, will have an unusual twist in that anyone could come along and take part in the concert. There will be a scratch workshop in the afternoon beforehand, when anyone can come and learn two songs. They’ll then perform them in the evening with the choir.

    You can be part of this unique concert or simply sit back and hear the choir sing. Click here or see their website medinacommunitychoir.org.uk for tickets and details.

    The money raised at this concert will go into the pot to help fund the sponsored walk up Kilimanjaro. It’s also possible to donate directly to the Kilimanjaro team via their Just Giving page which you can find here.

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