A PENSIONER is fundraising for the region’s air ambulance by climbing the highest mountain in Wales, in memory of his late wife.
George Wood is planning to celebrate his 73rd birthday by trekking up Mount Snowdon, on August 11, raising vital funds for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
Mr Wood, of Birtley, near Gateshead, will be joined by friends Paul Magnay and Andy McClurg, on the three-day journey.
The trio are taking on the challenge in memory of Mr Wood’s late wife Doreen, who passed away two years ago after a battle with illness.
Mr and Mrs Wood had been on holiday in Wales when the initial idea was born. Mr Wood had been reminiscing about scaling the mountain on a training exercise with the army on his 19th birthday.
Mrs Wood expressed her wish to experience the peak for herself, but logistical reasons meant the trek was not possible on their holiday. Sadly, she never got another chance.
Mr Wood, 72, said: “She never managed to get up to the top and I have lived with the guilt, so I’m going up in memory of her.
“I’m not doing it blind, I’ve done it before so I know what to expect, but it was a long time ago.”
Mr Wood has already raised over £800 for GNAAS, his wife’s chosen charity, while managing to go to the gym three times a week and doing plenty of practice walks in preparation for the main event.
Mr Wood said: “She loved to support the Great North Air Ambulance and would always make sure the clothing collection bags were full.
“My biggest sponsor has been TerraClean so I want to thank them for their support with sponsorship and clothing for the challenge.”
Mandy Drake, head of fundraising for GNAAS, said: “We wish George every success in his upcoming feat. This is no doubt going to be an emotional journey for him and his friends, and we would just like them to know how much their efforts are appreciated.”
GNAAS is a charity and requires £4.5m every year to continue to provide life-saving care across the region.
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