Tim Adams speaks to Head Office Finance Assistant, Beth Massingham, about why she is raising funds for Youth for Christ by climbing Kilimanjaro…
How did you get involved with Youth for Christ?
I’ve always known of Youth for Christ through my older sister Nina working here and also through Anne and Gavin Calver. 4 years ago, I was looking for a new job and when Anne told me that Youth for Christ Head Office had a job vacancy in Finance, I went for it. With my experience in banking, it seemed like a good fit.
What interested you about The Climb?
It’s an amazing opportunity to climb the biggest free-standing mountain in the world. So, I just thought: ‘While I’m young and able, if an opportunity arises, you’ve got to take it. You’ve got to grab it with both hands!’ So, that’s basically what I did.
Have you done anything like it before?
No. I’ve never been to Africa and hadn’t really climbed many mountains before I started training for Kilimanjaro. I did climb Snowdon last year once. That was the first thing I’d ever done. I enjoyed it but since saying yes to Kilimanjaro, I’ve climbed Snowdon five times. It’s been lovely, I’ve really enjoyed the training. So, I’m really glad now that I’m doing it.
You are a runner, though, aren’t you?
I’ve been running for years now so I know I have no problem in terms of my fitness. I know I’m can tackle Kilimanjaro.
Do you feel ready for the challenge?
I’ve had all my vaccinations and got my malaria and anti-sickness tablets. So yeah, I feel ready but I’ll feel more prepared near the end of the week. There’s all the little bits now that I’m worrying and thinking about. I’m excited and nervous at the same time.
How was meeting the rest of the team?
I’m glad that we’ve met a couple of times now because we’ve got to know each other. The team are a lovely bunch; all different but really nice. Most are Christians but not all are – so it’s fantastic those who aren’t are raising money for our movement. Having Stacey, Calum and Neil from Head Office on the team with me is an added bonus.
What are you concerned about?
To be quite frank, I’m a bit anxious about the toilet situation and the risk of getting a bad belly. I’m also not good at coping with the cold at all, so I hope my sleeping bag keeps me warm at the top and allows me to get enough sleep! The altitude, though, is my main worry as there’s nothing you can do to prepare for it. If you’re going to get altitude sickness, that’s it. It doesn’t matter how fit you are, you don’t know how your body is going to react to the altitude until you’re there.
How many nights will you spend up that high?
We’re going to take 3 nights to trek up the mountain but the 4th will be when the altitude probably hits you – just before you go up to the summit.
What do you know about Kilimanjaro?
Last week I watched a documentary about it, which I probably shouldn’t have because it was a little bit scary. I know Kilimanjaro is a mountain unlike any other, in that it’s wet at the bottom, desert-like half-way up but it’s generally the other way around with mountains. And then there is ice and snow at the top. I’m excited about seeing the views.
How do your husband and 3 kids feel about you climbing Kilimanjaro?
They’re absolutely fine about it. My mum, older sister and in laws will be spending time with them while I’m away. I’ll miss them but my kids know what’s happening (especially my eldest William) and they’re really proud of me.
Why should people sponsor you?
Because it’s for such a fantastic cause. Youth for Christ exists to see young people’s lives changed by Jesus.