The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is supporting a mountain climbing bid which will raise money for two local charities.

A team of six Isle of Man Constabulary officers plan to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania - Africa’s highest point at 5,895 metres - during a 10-day expedition in September. Carl Woods, David Baker, Kelly Wilkinson, Darren Gorry, Graham Corran and Quentin De Backer are undertaking the challenge to raise funds for Manx Miracles and Tabitha’s Trust.

The Steam Packet Company is assisting with the cost of travel to and from the UK for the expedition, as well as supporting a training trip to Wales in July for two team members. As the team is meeting all costs at their own expense and with help from supporters like the Steam Packet Company, donations will go directly to the nominated charities.

Team leader Carl Woods said: ‘The idea came about in a conversation during a rare quiet night shift we were all working. We all said we fancied going on a bit of an adventure and after some research and further discussion we decided on trekking Kilimanjaro.

‘We thought it would be a waste to just climb the mountain for ourselves, so we nominated the two charities we are raising money for. They are both Island-based and, for various reasons, close to our hearts.’

The charities are Manx Miracles, which aims to create, find and support programmes that directly improve the health and well-being of Island children facing huge challenges in their lives and support their families, and Tabitha’s Trust, which provides support, guidance and services to families in the Island who have been touched by the death of a child.

Carl added: ‘A significant amount of training has already been undertaken. We are all relatively fit individuals in our own right and the biggest challenge is likely to be the extreme altitude. In an attempt to prepare ourselves the best we can, myself and David are attending a pre-trip weekend in Wales in July to take part in some altitude simulations and speak to those who have done the trip before. 

‘The whole trip is self-funded by the team members and support from family, friends and generous businesses like the Steam Packet Company. The costs of travel, accommodation, expenses and so on will not be met from the donations made to the charities, so everything we raise will support their important work.

‘That’s why the assistance in meeting the cost of getting on and off the Island for both the training trip and to catch our flights to Tanzania for the main expedition is so important in helping us, and on behalf of the team I would like to thank the Steam Packet Company for its support.’

Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward added: ‘Climbing Kilimanjaro will be a real test for the team, as well as an incredible experience, and we are delighted to be able to assist the officers with their travel costs. We wish them all the best both on the expedition and in raising as much as possible for these two worthwhile causes.’

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Isle of Man Constabulary team members (from left) Quentin De Backer, Kelly Wilkinson, David Baker, Carl Woods and Graham Corran
Isle of Man Constabulary team members (from left) Quentin De Backer, Kelly Wilkinson, David Baker, Carl Woods and Graham Corran