LOCAL charity Taylor Made Dreams has received a massive donation from three Tonbridge adventurers in their fifties who trekked to Everest Base Camp.
The Tonbridge Trekking Trio [TTT], consisting of John Jenner, Darren Apps and Nick Massey, have raised £13,664.36 for the Crowborough charity.
Taylor Made Dreams enables children with life-limiting illness to fulfil their wishlists, and also offers holistic care for their families with counselling schemes for parents and siblings.
It was set up in 2014 by Suzi Mitchell after her son Taylor, who suffered from neurofibromatosis type 2, died aged 15.
She and Taylor compiled his ‘bucket list’ before he passed away and two friends, Julie Little and Trudy Yardley, helped to raise money to fulfil his wishes.
Julie is married to Billy Little, who coaches the Pink Ladies team at Tonbridge Juddians Rugby Club – and Taylor Made Dreams is the womens’ team’s chosen charity.
His predecessor as coach of women’s rugby was John Jenner, and he got to know Suzi through the club connection. The cheque was presented to her at the Juddians’ Vice-Presidents Lunch.
The club was one of the main supporters of the TTT’s venture along with Tonbridge Angels Football Club – Darren is their events manager – and the George and Dragon pub in Tonbridge, where Darren is the landlord.
Suzi said: “We are so very proud of John, Nick and Darren for their outstanding fundraising challenge. It’s an outstanding amount and we are so very grateful.
“Climbing mountains to create smiles in the eyes of children with illness is truly inspiring.”
They arrived at Tenzing-Hillary airstrip via Delhi, Kathmandu and Lukla in April and walked for eight days up to Base Camp at 17,600ft above sea level, then seven days straight back down again.
“It was pretty bloody cold,” says John. “The distance isn’t horrendous, but the altitude and the lack of oxygen can be very debilitating. It can take you three hours to go 600 yards, up and down and up again.”
“We’re well pleased with how much money we raised. We didn’t set ourselves a target so we’re very chuffed.”
Suzi added: “Being a small charity in its infancy, which does not receive any government funding, we rely greatly on community fundraising and participation challenges like this to enable us to do the work we do.
“In just three years of being a registered charity we have gifted over 400 bucket list items and funded over 300 holistic therapy and counselling sessions.”