Andy climbing 31,922 steps for Tearfund

Monday May 11th 2020

The Rev Andy Heber with ‘run’ up the stairs in his rector 76 times a day for 28 days to raise funds for Tearfund.

It’s bad enough dragging yourself back upstairs when you forget something, but spare a thought (and a pound or two) for the Rev Andy Heber who is planning on climbing his stairs 76 times a day for the next month!

Andy has signed up to Tearfund’s Climb Kilimanjaro challenge to support those living in poverty to fight the challenges of Covid-19.

As of today (Monday) Andy, who is vicar of Carnmoney, has covered 157 flights in the last two days (including a run of 70 flights in one go this morning!). No wonders he is a mite concerned his knees will give in – only 1,970 flights to go!

Andy’s mountain – the rectory staircase!

Andy said: “These days of restrictions and lockdown are testing us all, however it’s important to remember that our lives are safer and easier compared with many people in our world. In less developed countries with fewer resources and a much more basic infrastructure, even the ability to wash your hands regularly is a luxury let alone the availability of sufficient hospital beds and ventilators.

“Over the coming months, as the coronavirus hits many of the less developed countries in our world, the effects will be devastating.”

He said Tearfund is one organisation working in many of these countries seeking to provide aid, promoting hygienic practices and seeking to build adequate hand washing stations to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Mount Kilimanjaro Challenge is an attempt to raise money to support them in this vital work, and in taking on the challenge, Andy will realise one long-held dream (well, sort of!).

“It has long been one of my ambitions to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the fourth highest mountain in the world standing at 5,895 metres tall,” Andy explained.

“Obviously this is no longer possible, and possibly never will be as the years go by. However I have decided to climb the equivalent of this mountain by running up the stairs in my house.

“Over the course of 28 days, beginning on Sunday May 10, I am hoping to run/climb 31,922 steps, that’s 76 flights of my stairs every day – coming down doesn’t count!”

Mount Kilimanjaro will be in Andy’s mind as he tackles the stairs day after day.

If he is successful in this challenge, Andy will have climbed over 6,000 meters, more than the height of Mount Kilimanjaro.

“If you would like to sponsor me as I attempt this challenge and raise valuable money for Tearfund to help them in their work in less developed countries in our world, then please visit my Just Giving page to leave a donation and a message,” Andy said.

“Alternatively, cheques made payable to Tearfund can be posted to me at 20 Glebe Road, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, BT36 6UW.”

Good luck Andy – we hope the knees hold out and the the feeling of satisfaction at the summit is amazing – even if the view isn’t what you hoped for!

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