A Castletown man is bidding to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Help for Heroes, with support from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
Father-of-three Lee Notman will travel to Tanzania next month to take on the Machame Route towards the 19,341-foot summit.
The Steam Packet Company is supporting his efforts by covering the cost of travel from the Isle of Man.
It is the second time the 34-year-old has embarked on a challenge for the charity, which helps provide essential facilities for British service personnel injured in the line of duty. In September 2014 he completed the Moroccan Three Peaks Challenge, climbing the three highest mountains in North Africa during a seven-day trek in the High Atlas range.
He raised more than £3,000 for Help for Heroes (H4H), and hopes to beat that total with this year’s expedition.
Lee explained: ‘The sense of achievement after completing the challenge in 2014, and raising so much money, was phenomenal, and I caught the climbing bug!
‘Very shortly after I returned to the UK following that trip, H4H announced that it was going to open a challenge to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in October 2016. Thankfully I have a very supportive wife, Tina, so once again I signed up without hesitation.’
He added: ‘I’m ready for the climb and really pleased that so far I have raised almost £2,500. I’d like to thank everyone who has donated money to support this important charity, and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for its assistance meeting my travel costs to the UK.’
Lee, originally from Plymouth, had always dreamed of joining the Armed Services, but an eye trauma at 14 left him visually impaired and his eyesight below the standard required to be accepted. He was inspired to support H4H after learning childhood friend Mark Ormrod, a Royal Marine Commando who lost both legs and one arm in an explosion while on patrol in Afghanistan, had been helped by the charity.
He said: ‘Naturally, this discovery inspired me to support the charity in any way I could. On the H4H website I discovered that I could raise a reasonable sum of money by signing up for a challenge and doing my own fundraising. That’s how this started.’
Lee travels to the UK at the start of October to meet the rest of the fundraising group before flying to Ethiopia and then travelling to Tanzania.
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘Help for Heroes does tremendous work and relies very heavily on fundraising and donations to support injured service personnel. Lee raised an amazing amount for the charity with his first expedition and we hope that with his second challenge he can beat that total. We’re delighted to be supporting his efforts and wish him all the best.’
If you would like to support Lee’s fundraising visit www.justgiving.com/leenotman