A SEAFORD restaurant owner who failed 900 metres short of reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro has still helped to raise thousands of pounds for charity.
Rita Gorman has already taken part in a 10-day trek along the Great Wall of China and set herself the latest challenge in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
She prepared for the mammoth feat by running with the Seaford Striders, going out with the Seaford Rambling Club and also swimming.
Rita, who was treated to some stunning views on her journey, said, “On day eight, we set off at midnight to climb the summit, but after an hour of climbing, my breathing was getting more laborious and at 5,000m, the doctor had to order me down.
“I was gutted as I only had 900m to go.
“This challenge was the hardest thing I have ever done as I have never camped before. The nights were so unbelievably cold as we had to sleep in tents with no heat or hot water to wash.
“Temperatures were around 2 - 3 degrees centigrade and on summit night it was well below minus 10.”
Rita, who owns the Golden Palace restaurant in Seaford, said during the week it had been pouring with rain and hailstones and it was an effort for the team to keep their sleeping bags dry.
Twenty took part in the trek and between them managed to raise a whopping £111,000 for GOSH.
Rita added, “I am just so disappointed I was not able to reach the summit. But I have tried my best. I want to thank everyone who has given me so much moral support, especially the Seaford Ramblers Club.”
If anyone would like to donate they should visit the website: www.justgiving.com/Rita-Gorman