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Grants Seat couple raise money for Ben in Kilimanjaro challenge

The husband and wife team that manage Seat dealership Grants in Braintree, Essex, have raised £8,400 for two charities by reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro. 

It took Darren and Katie Williams (pictured at the summit) five days to complete the 35-mile trek to the summit, climbing for up to 14 hours per day; the couple made it to the Uhuru peak via the Lemosho route - one of six official routes up the mountain. It took them two days to climb back down.

The money raised will go to Autism Anglia and automotive industry charity BEN.

"We are absolutely delighted to have made it to the top of Kilimanjaro, and to have raised so much for causes that are so close to our hearts," said Grants Seat dealer principal Darren.

Standing almost 6,000 metres above sea level, Kilimanjaro is the world's highest free-standing mountain, and as well as dealing with the altitude, Darren and Katie also had to cope with temperature extremes ranging from -30 degrees to 30 degrees centigrade. It's estimated that around one-third of those that attempt to reach Kilimanjaro's peak fail.

"We trained extremely hard for five months prior to the climb and we're fairly regular gym users," said Katie. "On the way up we'd get regular reminders of the seriousness of the climb - it can affect people very suddenly and in very different ways. A few times we saw people being carried back down the mountain who were really unwell because of altitude sickness, pure exhaustion - or both.

"After seeing that, at times it felt like every step we took was a ticking time bomb, which added to the stress of the whole thing. The cold was a problem too - a couple of times I thought my fingers might stay in my gloves as I was taking them off, and I've still not got all the feeling back in the ends of my fingers and toes."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the last five years Darren and Katie have regularly undertaken fundraising events for Autism Anglia. Darren's son Grant, who the dealership is named after, is autistic. The Kilimanjaro donation takes the couple's total giving to Autism Anglia beyond the £10,000 mark.

Grants Seat was shortlisted for two 2013 AM awards, best dealer principal and best digital marketing.



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