Kiliclimbers: Morson Training director Matt conquers Kilimanjaro

Over the past year, we have been following the journey of Morson Forces ambassador, Andy Reid, Group Training Director, Matthew Leavis, and Principal Engineer, Graham Eardley, as they prepared to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise vital funds for The Standing Tall Foundation, Andy’s mental health charity.

In conjunction with Andy’s charity, the Standing Tall Foundation, the expedition took place in October 2022 and saw triple-amputee Andy try to re-conquer a summit that he last stood at the top of in 1999 alongside Matt and Graham. The Standing Tall Foundation supports adults suffering from anxiety and depression.

Andy told us more about the Standing Tall Foundation and it’s impact:

A climb like this, it’s going to raise a lot of awareness for the foundation and hopefully, it’ll raise a lot of money too, so we can provide this service for young people and for veterans. Obviously, in the recent news with Afghanistan, some veterans feel it was a waste of time and lost their limbs and got mental health problems for nothing. The demand for mental health support is massive now.

Up to now I think we’ve helped about 135 people with mental health sessions. Individual people with up to twelve sessions per person. So that’s what most of the fundraising goes toward. These could be young people who miss their friends and family, people whose parents passed away during COVID, or who’ve tried to take their own life. We can help people who are struggling because of employment issues or their general day-to-day. Life’s tough isn’t it, and a lot of people struggle. We’re helping them get back on track again, not by giving people a handout but giving people a hand up. Back into feeling more valued, back into society, back into employment, back into the housing market. These are the kind of things we do.”

Last month the team achieved their goal of summiting the mountain a day earlier than expected. In this video Andy, Graham and Matt reflect on the experience…

Morson Kili-Climbers reflect on their record-breaking Mount Kilimanjaro climb

Matt: We had been so focused on this trip for two years. We were talking about it for so long. I joined the programme before it was even designed, it was just an idea at that point. So, for two years we’ve been working towards this goal and now it’s finished. It’s a weird feeling. I think the strangest part hit me just as I left the hotel. I messaged Graham to let him know I’d left, and I was just struck by the sense that we’d been together all day, every day for a week and I didn’t know when I was going to see him again.

Graham: When you’re living in each other’s pockets like that for ten days you can’t help but end up being mates. We’re working at the same company so, I’m sure we’ll see each other around. It’s like when you bump into your mates from school that you’ve just not seen for years, the conversation picks up like no time has passed.

Watch the full journey, the road to Kilimanjaro

Kili-climbers: 4 part journey

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