Hospice CEO takes on highest mountain in Africa

The challenge of a lifetime

Mark Hawkins, CEO of Rowcroft Hospice, is gearing up for the challenge of a lifetime as he prepares to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa at 5,895 metres. Behind the demanding trek in mid-June is a single-minded drive to raise vital funds for the hospice to care for local patients with life-limiting illnesses.

Every penny counts

“This journey is about pushing my limits and making a difference,” said Mark. “It’s the perfect opportunity to raise crucial funds for Rowcroft Hospice, a charity that’s so close to my heart. Every step taken on Kilimanjaro represents a stride toward supporting South Devon patients in their end-of-life journey.

“There are so many formidable challenges facing the hospice. These include the tough economic climate that has impacted our fundraising and retail operations, the rising costs of living, and the increasing pressures on the hospice’s services that stem from a rising demand from our ageing local population. So I wanted to do my bit and offer my support and solidarity. Every penny counts.”

Determination in the face of adversity

The trek up Kilimanjaro will span five to six gruelling days, navigating rocky terrain and acclimatising to high altitude and fluctuating temperatures. Despite experiencing back pain in his training, Mark remains undeterred, focusing on preparation, hydration, and a positive mindset.

“The journey ahead is daunting, but I’m ready to tackle it head-on,” added Mark. “With thorough preparation and resilience, I believe I can overcome any obstacle.”

Tackling the Marangu route

Mark is opting for the Marangu route which is known for its steepness and speed of ascent. He will be aided by experienced sherpas and will sleep in basic huts along the route. While acknowledging the challenges of altitude sickness and physical strain, Mark remains optimistic, emphasising the importance of taking it slowly and staying hydrated. With a 65% success rate for his chosen route, he is confident in his ability to reach the summit and make a meaningful impact.

Climbing for a cause

With Mark funding the expedition personally, all donations received will go directly to Rowcroft Hospice to support the charity’s essential services and patient care. Mark invites you to join him on this extraordinary journey by offering support, well-wishes, or a donation to the hospice.

“With your support and encouragement, I can conquer Kilimanjaro and make a difference for those in need,” concluded Mark. “Together, even the tallest mountains can be conquered when we unite for a cause.”

How you can support Mark’s Kilimanjaro challenge and make a difference

To find out more about Mark’s Kilimanjaro challenge or to sponsor Mark, please see Mark’s fundraising page on the Just Giving website at: www.justgiving.com/page/mark-hawkins-1711132840409

Take on a challenge for Rowcroft

If you’d like to take on a challenge for the hospice, please email hayley.townsend@rowcrofthospice.org.uk or call 01803 217450, or you can find out about wingwalking and skydiving challenges on Rowcroft’s website at www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk/challenges

More news from Rowcroft


Website designed and developed by Bluestone360