Harrogate family to take on Kilimanjaro challenge to raise money for local charity Artizan International

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A Harrogate family are currently in training for an expedition to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Artizan International.

Richard Pughe is preparing to tackle Africa’s highest mountain next February and will take on the 9,340ft climb with his wife Nikki Sutcliffe, his son Tom and stepson Lucas, as well as his friend James Bate.

Richard said: “We were all inspired to take on the challenge and raise money for Artizan after visiting their café in Harrogate and seeing the fantastic work they do to help differently-abled people become more independent through training and education.

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"The passion and joy with which both the trainees and trainers work is incredible.

A family from Harrogate are preparing to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Artizan InternationalA family from Harrogate are preparing to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Artizan International
A family from Harrogate are preparing to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Artizan International

“They’re making a tremendous difference to people’s lives, both here in Harrogate with their café and creative workshop and through projects in Ecuador and Peru.

“We were looking to take on a fundraising challenge to mark a few different significant birthdays that are happening next year in our family and we were so impressed by Artizan International that we wanted to help them.”

With the aim of raising at least £1,500 for the charity, the family are training for their eight-day Kilimanjaro expedition by walking in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales and this summer spent time hiking in the French Alps near Chamonix.

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Richard added: “Without doubt, coping with the altitude and low oxygen levels will be the most challenging aspect of the climb.

“We are doing as many high-level walks as we can and all trying to increase our fitness in preparation for February’s trip.

"We want to raise as much money as possible for Artizan International and it would be brilliant if our expedition inspires people to sponsor us.”

Susie Hart MBE, founder of Artizan International, said: “We’re tremendously grateful to Richard and his family for choosing to support our work with differently-able people locally and overseas in this way and the funds they raise will make a huge difference.

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"We’ll be able to provide training and support that’s literally life-changing, for many more people with disabilities, thanks to their support.

"We’ll be cheering them on, all the way.”

Susie set up Artizan International in Harrogate in 2013 after establishing a craft centre social enterprise in Tanzania to give local people with disabilities training and employment. ​Differently-abled people in the United Kingdom are often socially isolated and the charity launched to provide free weekly therapeutic crafts sessions for adults with disabilities in Harrogate and Leeds.

Artizan International also runs projects to provide fairly paid work for people with disabilities in Peru and Ecuador, selling the jewellery and crafts they produce in its Oxford Street shop in Harrogate.

The nearby training café in the centre of Harrogate is currently helping 23 young adults with learning disabilities to become independent.

To sponsor Richard’s expedition to Kilimanjaro, visit artizaninternational.enthuse.com/cf/kilimanjaro-climb-for-charity

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