North Walsham

Charity challenge ‘CLICs’ for Simon

Just Regional
Jan 27, 2016 4 mins read

Businessman Simon Gray is topping off a year of fundraising by hitting new heights.
He will be swapping the relatively flat landscape for Norfolk this month to trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro in his biggest challenge as part of 12 months of raising funds for CLIC Sargent.
Simon and his business partner launched Credo Finance in 2005 and last year, to mark 10 years of business, he and his team decided to raise £10,000 for charity The boss will bring that total to at least £15,000 and is already at that level with three weeks of fundraising left.
He said: “I’ve always wanted to do this,” he said. “Kilimanjaro has been an image that I’ve studied for years with wonder and a lust to visit. It’s the highest freestanding mountain in the world and being close to the equator, at its summit, you’re closer to the sun than you are on the peak of Everest. There are many climate zones to walk through and with the rare atmosphere at the top it’s a true challenge that’s far from easy. Many ultra-fit marathon runners have said this is the hardest thing they’ve ever done.”
But Simon, from North Walsham, is ready for the challenge and is particularly looking forward to reaching the summit at dawn after a climb through the night. “On the last leg we will get woken up at midnight, put on every bit of clothing as it will be about -10C and below and trek for six hours to see sunrise at the summit.”
Simon and Credo have been supporting CLIC Sargent for the past two years, with fundraising events including a bake-off, white water rafting, an auction, Wig Wednesdays and a 10k run.
“It’s a great charity,” he said. “They are great people to work with, truly grateful and very supportive of everything we do to raise money for them. Most charity causes are worthwhile, but for me, young children, suffering this most cruel of diseases are some of the most deserving and we are proud to be raising money for them.”
To this end, all the money Simon raises from the trip will go to the charity. “As this is a challenge with a great personal element to it, I’ve paid for the cost of the trip myself and therefore every penny I raise will go to CLIC Sargent.
“We aimed to raise £10,000 but we have beat that into a cocked hat – I’m very proud of the efforts of all our staff in achieving the goal that seemed so far away when we started raising money last February.”
Simon is already a familiar face around North Walsham and further afield. He’s about to get involved in the mentoring scheme at North Walsham High School and spends some of his spare time in fine voice for The Choir Worstead.
Simon’s training has included regular walking, alomst daily gym trips and also cutting out alcohol. The trek runs from February 18-28 and the group of fundraisers from all over the UK will cover 10k mostly per day (all uphill), taking six days to get up the mountain and two to come down.
They will be accompanied by guides, who will set up camp each night, as the journey progresses through rainforest and changing scenery all the way to the top. They will also have to deal with low oxygen levels as the climb starts at 1800m. “At the top is just 10% oxygen instead of 21%.”
But Simon’s not daunted by the challenge. “I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s an adventure and really something different. I might even have a sing song along the way.”
CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families, providing clinical, practical and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. Visit

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