Foresters Friendly Society member set to conquer Mont Blanc

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Climb to raise funds for local community and special school

A member of the Tunstall branch of the Foresters Friendly Society is proving he has a head for heights by joining a climb of Mont Blanc, as part of a campaign to raise at least £5,000 for the Horton Lodge Community & Special School near Leek, Staffordshire.

Alastair Machin (21), a member of the Foresters Friendly Society's Tunstall branch, will be setting off on 13 June 2009 as a member of a team aiming to scale the peak. Mont Blanc rises nearly 16,000 feet above sea level, making it the highest mountain in the Alps and in Western Europe.

Funds raised by the group will be donated to Horton Lodge Community & Special School which provides care and education for children with severe disabilities. The School is particularly personally significant to Alastair as his cousin was a pupil there for several years before her death on the day before her ninth birthday in 2003.

Foresters Friendly Society is the only UK Friendly Society to combine financial services insurance and savings products with the social benefits of a participative local branch network. The Tunstall and Leek branches of the Foresters Friendly Society have already donated a total of £350 to support the expedition.

Alastair Machin said: "Horton Lodge does an incredible job of providing love, care and attention to physically disabled youngsters. Visiting the school is a moving experience and one cannot fail to respect the skill and dedication with which the staff care and attend to the children, who have a range of special needs and disabilities.

"Our team is funding all the accompanying costs of the climb, including training, equipment and travelling to Chamonix, the nearest town to Mont Blanc. This means that every single penny we raise through sponsorship, donations and fundraising will go directly to help Horton Lodge."

Tony Lewis, Development Manager, of the Foresters Friendly Society said: "Our local branches support a wide range of charitable causes in the UK. We're delighted to be supporting Alastair and his fellow climbers in their efforts to raise funds for Horton Lodge."

Tony Lewis continued "We're also pleased to be seeing our younger members such as Alastair working hard to maintain our commitment to playing a positive role in the wider community, and making a genuine personal contribution to the Society's continued development."

Anyone interested in making a donation to support the expedition should contact Alastair Machin on 07834522211or