A gym in Haslingden, Rossendale, Lancashire held a charity event to help one of its members ahead of their epic Kilimanjaro climb.
In March 2022, Crossfit-Vita Ray member Matthew Leavis will be attempting to climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro with Corporal Andy Reid, a triple amputee war veteran.
Andy, who lost both of his legs and his right arm after stepping on an IED while on patrol in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province in October 2009, has set up ‘The Standing Tall Foundation’ to provide help and support to people like him.
Matthew organised the family fun day and friendly summer comp for members called ‘The Kiliclimber’ to help raise money for the foundation, which will fund much needed mental health sessions within the community as possible.
The event was held at the gym and offered the opportunity for people of mixed abilities and fitness levels to take part. There were also a number of stalls and activities for children.
Matthew, who is Group Training Director at Morson International, said: “It was a great event to get people moving, raise money and a huge local community spirit. Fifty athletes, 12 volunteers and approximately 200 visitors attended on the day, raising an incredible £2,163 on the day – which will go directly to the charity.”
Matthew is also backing Together We Move – a Rossendale campaign to encourage people to become more active.
He said: “Being active is so important. Together We Move provide vital motivation to ensure the long-term health of people is addressed by encouraging people to be more active.”
Looking ahead to the climb, Andy said: “Every time I finish a challenge, people ask me what’s next. With the foundation I know more than ever that there’s a need. There’s a need for us to be able to provide counselling support for the foundation.
“It’s 12 years since I was injured. I wanted to do something in my own community. I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do.”
To support the climb visit justgiving.com and search for ‘Matthew Leavis’.