Everest climb raises £60,000 for Youth Zone

Andrew Turner's gruelling 14 day trek to the base camp of Everest has raised £59,000 for the Inspire Youth Zone Chorley.

Andrew is the founder and chairman of the Chorley Group and played an instrumental role in the founding of the charity, which supports young people aged 8 to 19, and up to 25 for those with disabilities.

However, the 59-year-old had no similar hiking experience and while he expected a tough climb, but confessed the reality was “more horrific than I ever could have imagined”.

Andrew said: “It was far more challenging, I struggled both physically and mentally, and there were times when I thought I shouldn’t even be there.

“The kids had given me notes to open each day and that kept me going. When we first flew from Kathmandu to start the hike we were told the cloud was too heavy and we might not be able to do it at all. I knew that I’d promised these kids I would be doing this, so I said we’d have to do whatever it takes to make it happen.”

Andrew said reality set in when he realised all of his fellow trekkers were far more experienced.

The altitude sickness was unbearable and at times I was having to take three breaths for every one step.

He said: “There were times when I thought I physically couldn’t make it, though. As we got higher, the altitude sickness was unbearable and at times I was having to take three breaths for every one step.”

However, while some of his party were unable to make it to base camp, Turner was able to push on to the top.

The original aim was to raise £25,000 for Inspire Youth Zone Chorley but the team at Chorley Group, one of the largest Nissan retailers in the North West, more than doubled this.

Turner explained: “We were typically motor trade in our fundraising. The first target was £25,000 but we hit that, so I put it up to £30,000, then £40,000 and then said £50,000 was it. Since then, people have continued to donate and the total is now just shy of £60,000.”

A video of Andrew's trek can be viewed below, and donations can be made at www.andyeverest.co.uk

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