Alpine test for council boss

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A REGENERATION chief is swapping his desk for his climbing gear when he scales the Alps to raise money for charity.

Damien Wilson, who works for Hartlepool Borough Council as assistant director of regeneration, will be scaling new heights in mid-September in aid of Hartlepool ceremonial mayor’s four chosen charities.

CHARITY: Damien Wilson (right) pictured climbing Mont Blanc with his cousin Mark Charlton in 2012.

CHARITY: Damien Wilson (right) pictured climbing Mont Blanc with his cousin Mark Charlton in 2012.

The 51-year-old is a keen climber and said he is looking forward to his latest challenge which will be raising vital funds for the RNLI, Hartlepool Hospice, the Great North Air Ambulance and Miles For Men.

Mr Wilson said he is “looking forward” to the challenge which will see him climb three mountains in the Alps over 12,000ft.

The town’s ceremonial mayor, Labour councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, has said he is “very grateful” for his support and has wished him well.

Mr Wilson said: “I’ve been on several climbing expeditions before, including Mont Blanc in 2012, so when I decided on my latest challenge I thought it would be a good idea to raise some money for the mayor’s charities which are all extremely worthy causes.

“I am looking forward to it and the intention is to climb three mountains in the Alps over 4,000m including Mont Blanc, weather permitting.

“I hope people are able to support me in my efforts to raise money and I know every pound raised will be so much appreciated by the four charities.”

Mr Wilson is hoping to climb Mont Blanc via the Gouter route, crossing the famous and dangerous Grand Couloir with its constant rock falls sweeping down from the Aiguille de Gouter and reaching the summit via the Bosses Ridge.

He will be climbing with his cousin Mark Charlton, an Alpine guide, ski mountaineer and ice climber, who lives and works in Chamonix.

The expedition will take place between September 14 and 21.

The town’s ceremonial mayor, Coun Akers-Belcher, said: “I am very grateful to Damien for deciding to climb the Alps in aid of my four charities.

“Climbing in the Alps is a massive challenge for the most experienced climbers and I wish him well in his latest adventure.”

During the 2013-14 municipal year, Coun Akers-Belcher raised a record-breaking £43,000 for his nominated charities - Macmillan Cancer Support, the Pansies Breast Cancer Support Group and the Denise Taylor Cancer Trust each receiving £11,000.

The remaining £10,000 was shared between two more good causes - Hartlepool & District Hospice and the Teenage Cancer Trust at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

Anyone interested in sponsoring Mr Wilson can do so by contacting him on 07717348823 or email

Alternatively people can call (01429) 284271.

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