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Tackling the Alps for Haverhill charity

By Sammi Nice

No Caption ABCDE ANL-150731-101804001
No Caption ABCDE ANL-150731-101804001

Darryl Ashford-Smith, pictured on an expedition up Mont Blanc, aims to raise money for Haverhill based charity, REACH.

Darryl Ashford-Smith, from Great Yeldham, will be attempting to climb two mountain summits in the Swiss Alps to raise money for REACH Haverhill.

Mr Ashford-Smith will be tackling the mountains with his nephew, Sam Ashford-Smith, and his wife’s son, Marty Sing.

They will be setting out to complete the challenge on August 19. The trek is expected to take them a week to complete and they will need favourable weather if they are to be successful.

Darryl, Sam and Marty were inspired to take on the challenge out of admiration for the work of REACH for whom Darryl’s wife, Lesley, works as an administrator.

Darryl said: “Lesley, my wife, does great work at REACH, an organisation who’s doors are always open to anyone who needs help.

“Everyone is welcomed with a cup of tea and the team are willing to help in anything that is within their remit.”

Lesley said: “He has done lots of climbing. I think he is a bit mad to be doing it.”

The climb, which will take the climbers to an altitude of over 4,000 metres on each peak, was the idea of Sam, who suggested they do something monumental to raise money for the charity.

The team will be training beforehand on the Gorner Glacier to practise movement across glaciers and crevasse rescue techniques.

Darryl has experience of mountaineering and was a volunteer on an international response team that assisted with the building of hospitals in Nepal following the earthquakes there in April.

Darryl and his colleagues helped secure a 10 tonne roof to the 800-bed hospital which, he was told, could have saved many lives.

Now he has turned his climbing skills to helping to raise money for REACH.

“I’m from Scotland,” said Lesley. “Most of the people who have donated so far are friends from up there. We’ve raised about £500 in donations so far and I think we’ve had a great response.”

They are now hoping that more people from Haverhill will join the fund-raising effort to add to the sum raised and further help the charity with its work.

REACH Haverhill helps families who are struggling to make ends meet.

They help people with debt, homelessness, unemployment and poverty, and also attend courts with the clients to suspend evictions. They run projects including Haverhill Foodbank, the Furniture Bank, and REACH Money Advice.

“I’m very proud of what I do,” said Lesley. “Darryl, Sam and Marty really believe in REACH and the work it does.

“We have resources we can use and we are able to give people something to take away with them and give them hope. I can help people every day.”

The effort is part of an on-going fund-raising drive that has, so far, included sponsored bike rides, half marathons and a sponsored outdoor swim.

Anyone wishing to contribute towards the fund-raising effort can visit https://mydo nate.bt.com/fundraisers/dar rylsammarty.

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