NEXT week (on September 23) Stuart and Kate Richards from Montgomery will be following in Ed Balls’ footsteps by climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania for charity. 

The trek, which will take the pair six nights and seven days, has been organised independently through local guide, Henry Lauwo, so they can raise as much money as possible for Lupus UK and Self Help Africa. With £8,500 raised so far, Stuart and Kate are hoping for one last push to reach their goal of £10,000.

Kate, who works at Trefaldwyn Vets in Montgomery, said: "We chose Lupus UK as my sister, Claire, was diagnosed with the condition which can cause damage to the major organs, the charity helps people manage their condition. We also picked Self Help Africa, a leading Shrewsbury-based international development charity which is working to eradicate poverty and hunger in rural areas of Africa.”

Unlike Ed Balls and the Comic Relief team, the couple are walking alone so can go at their own pace as they’ll be carrying 35 litre rucksacks. They will also hire local porters to carry the tent and food.

Stuart, a chartered surveyor and auctioneer at Halls in Shrewsbury, said: “We’re really looking forward to spending some time together, walking through different terrains and reaching the top but altitude sickness is a worry. Back in June we spent a weekend summiting Toubkal, the highest peak in the Atlas mountains to see if we could deal with it.

"Luckily we made it, and loved it, but Kili is nearly 2km higher. The best bit may possibly be the beer at the end.”

Anyone wishing to support the couple’s goal to reach their £10,000 target can donate by clicking here.