Putting our region's cancer needs first

Teachers Take on a Mountain of a Challenge!

Kilimanjaro Climb

Teachers from Southport College have taken on the ultimate challenge in the name of cancer research and conquered Mount Kilimanjaro.

Biology tutor, John Knight, Access to Higher Education Curriculum Leader, Lindsey Sutton and Alexa Sutcliffe, former Deputy Head of Adult Learning are recuperating after the adventure of a lifetime that saw them travel almost 7,000 miles to Tanzania where they donned their climbing gear to take on the 5,895m mountain.

The group travelled through jungle, desert and freezing conditions, battling changing climates, extreme terrain and altitude sickness as they made their way to the summit. Stopping at a campsite every night, the journey to the summit took six and a half days and included a tough scramble up the Barranco Wall.

The final leg to the summit started at nightfall and included 12 hours of trekking through icy conditions. Though it wasn’t all doom and gloom as the group were treated to spectacular night-time views of Tanzania and clear star gazing as they finally reached Uhuru Peak, the highest point of Kilimanjaro just in time to watch the sun rise.


The group held a whole host of fundraising activities in the run up to their trip, including a quiz night hosted at Southport College’s on-site restaurant, Clouds, a number of cake sales and a UV party at a local nightclub. Further fundraising included a Casino Night at a local cricket club, while Access to HE students also collected individual sponsorships for a 5k run. 

Olive Cutts, Chair of local Southport Committee, has continually supported their fundraising by promoting all events and bringing along her friends and fellow committee members to events to boost fundraising. Through all their activities, the group raised just under a stellar £4,000.

Lindsey said of the experience: “I wanted to help support cancer research after having numerous family members struggle with cancer and losing my mum to it. It was important for me to help support research into treatments that will prevent other families from having to go through that horrific experience.

“I’m so proud of our amazing achievement. Even though it was really hard at times. At certain points I felt like I couldn’t carry on and reminded myself of family and friends who have battled cancer. If they can fight this terrible disease, I can take on a mountain for them.”

John commented “I’ve always been proud to support NWCR along with Southport College and through that I’ve seen the important work they do first hand, through lab tours and college visits from researchers. As a biology teacher, I can appreciate the impact of this research and know how crucial it is to fundraise for it.

"I’m so proud of our group, not only for tackling Kilimanjaro but also all the hard work put into fundraising for NWCR. Olive has also been a great support over the past year and has really helped make our events a success, we can’t thank her enough.”


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