A RETIRED head teacher has taken on some of the UK’s most gruelling climbs – but now he’s getting set for his toughest challenge to date.
Tony Metcalfe, the former head at Clavering Primary School, in Hartlepool, set an audacious target to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in memory of Sue Donkin, a former teaching assistant at the school who sadly died in 2010 after a battle with cancer.
Dedicated Tony has already tackled the three Yorkshire Peaks, Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent as well as Mount Snowdon as he prepares for the trip to Tanzania next month to climb the highest mountain in Africa.
And in between those climbs, Tony, who is diabetic, also racked up 13 days of walking as he completed a 192-mile coast to coast effort from St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay.
All of Tony’s challenges are raising money for Hartlepool & District Hospice in memory of Sue, who worked at the school for around 15 years before she was tragically diagnosed with terminal cancer of the spine.
Sue continued to go into work until a week before her death and Tony was so touched by his colleague’s incredible bravery he vowed to raise charity cash in her memory.
And after his tough training climbs in the past three months, he is now set for the 19,000-plus ft challenge in Africa.
“All I need to do now is keep training and keep fundraising,” said Tony.
He has set himself the target of raising £3,500 for the Wells Avenue-based hospice and has already received £946.76 in donations from kind-hearted residents supporting his challenge.
Janice Forbes, community fundraiser at the hospice, said: “Prior to Tony conquering Mount Kilimanjaro he has already achieved so much in these earlier challenges.
“This really shows how dedicated Tony is to supporting his local hospice and to paying tribute to Sue and achieving his own ambitions.
“On behalf of everyone at the hospice, we wish Tony the very best of luck.”
Anyone who would like to sponsor Tony should visit www.justgiving.com/tonymetcalfe or ring the hospice on (01429) 855536.
People interested in completing a challenge of their own should contact the fundraising department at the hospice on (01429) 855555.