MOUNTAINEER Ellis Stewart will attempt to raise thousands of pounds to help tackle child abuse when he scales Everest.
The 40-year-old dad of two, from Hartlepool, hopes to raise £29,000 in sponsorship for the NSPCC children’s charity on his climb of the world’s tallest mountain.
His target represents £1,000 for every foot of Mount Everest.
All the money Ellis raises from the climb will go towards the NSPCC’s ChildLine Schools Service, which has been set up to raise awareness of abuse among primary school children and how to seek help if they need it.
By 2016 the charity aims to reach 1.7 million children by trained volunteers visiting primary schools every two years.
Ellis, a long-term supporter of the NSPCC, said: “Like the challenge my fundraising target is no mean feat. I am hoping to raise £29,000 for the service – that’s £1,000 for each foot I climb.”
“I have just enjoyed a lovely Christmas with my wife and my children but we are very aware that not everyone is so lucky and not every child experiences the same safe and loving environment.
“The NSPCC does great work to protect vulnerable children and I want to help make a difference by raising as much as I can for the charity.”
The ChildLine Schools Service gives children the confidence to talk about abuse through assemblies and smaller classroom based workshops.
Ben Margetts, NSPCC community fundraising manager for the North-East, said: “Ellis has set himself an incredible fundraising target and we’re delighted that he’s chosen the NSPCC’s ChildLine Schools Service as his chosen charity.
“With support like his we can really make a difference to protecting children and young people from abuse.
“We wish him all the best for this fantastic effort.”
Ellis, of Bishop Cuthbert, who writes a weekly column in the Mail, is an experienced mountaineer and conquering Everest has been a lifelong dream.
He said: “I’ve already been to 7,600 metres in altitude on an expedition to Cho Oyu in Tibet, and reached the summit of the highest mountain in South America, Aconcagua, but I’ve always wanted to climb Everest.
“I missed out on a big climb of Everest a few years ago. This time I’m determined to do it.”