Tonbridge trio trek truly tricky terrain for Taylor’s twenty-first

RISING STAR Hot prospect Elise Lazarus with Mr Payne's partner Ina Herridge

On a typical weekend, you would normally find these three friends on the side lines at a Juddians’ game or playing a round down at Poult Wood golf course.

But in March, Darren Apps, 51, John Jenner, 55 and Nick Massey, 52 will be nearly 5,000 miles away – trekking along Mount Everest to raise funds for a local children’s charity.

The trio, who were all born and bred in Tonbridge, will be undertaking the eight day climb from Kala Pattar to Everest Base Camp from March 24.

While the distance is only 100 miles, the real challenge comes from the altitude, as they have to ascend over 1,000 ft a day.

Mr Jenner came up with the idea for the effort last year. He said: “I’ve wanted to go to Everest for as long as I can remember. I lost a friend a few years ago and it got me thinking about life and what I should have on my bucket list,” adding that he has been getting up at 5am to walk around Tonbridge for two hours each morning

For the past three years he has been a coach for Tonbridge Juddians’ Ladies team, which sponsor Taylor Made Dreams, a Crowborough-based charity who provide once-in-a-lifetime trips for children with life-limiting illnesses.

This has allowed Mr Jenner to get to know the charity’s founder Suzi Mitchell. She established the charity in 2014 in honour of her son Taylor, who died at the age of 15 after losing his battle with Neurofibromatosis type 2, a disease which causes tumours to attach themselves to the nerve endings of the spine and brain.

The climb is taking place in March to mark what would have been Taylor’s 21st birthday (March 3).

Mr Massey, who has run his auto parts store, Polar Automotives, in Sanderson Way for the last 25 years, admitted it would be difficult to get his legs ‘accustomed to the steepness’ on Everest but described the charitable cause as ‘a great motivator’.

Mr Apps said he had been ‘taking on as many hills as possible in preparation, which has been good, ‘although my dog is looking worn out’.

Last week, they crossed the £1,000 mark in their fundraising efforts.

If you wish to support them, visit:

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