Kaddy Lee-Preston's official blog

Mount Kilimanjaro climb

*For everyone who sponsors me for this challenge, just leave your contact details on my website and I’ll send you a personalised letter/signed piccy to say a big thank you!

It is just starting to hit me that I have signed up to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in September! Even realising the ‘tog’ of sleeping bag required gave me the shivs and I am wondering how I do high altitude training when the highest point within 50 miles of me is about 100ft…


Getting kitted out at Pack Your Bags Tunbridge Wells. Photo Courier Newspapers

I will join a team of 20-25 people to clamber up nearly 6km of jagged rocks (approx 18,000ft in old wonga) to reach the summit of the highest free standing mountain in the world. I am excited, scared and super duper jelly legged at the thought!  We still need a few extra participants, so if you’re up for the challenge of a lifetime sign up here!


Here she is – majestic…and massive

I’m doing this challenge for a charity called Village Education Project Kilimanjaro (VEPK) whose patron is Dame Judi Dench.  As the name suggests VEPK focuses on the improvement of basic education in the government primary schools in the villages around the base of Africa’s highest mountain. Katy Allen from Sevenoaks visited the region 20 years ago and was so appalled at both the state of the schools and the quality of the education that she vowed to do something positive. VEPK now works with the regional education authorities to provide invaluable training and support for teachers many working in schools that the charity has either built or refurbished.  Katy has even received an MBE for her services to education.


A peak through the clouds (sic)

Even if you’re unable to join me on the hike, but would like to make a contribution I would be delighted if you wished to donate – every penny will be appreciated by both me and the charity.  And by way of thanks I’ll even write to you personally and send you a signed piccy! (just leave me your address on my ‘contact’ page). Thank you for your support and wish me luck!  I will of course keep you all up to date with my progress, training and be blogging from the mountain once I am there – so you can be with me in spirit!



This was the VEPK 2011 success story – everyone made it to the top, with an age range of 24 to 74! AND they raised over £75,000!

It is going to be an extremely tough challenge, but Virgin Active have offered to get me mountain fit, and the rest is down to me doing some hard fundraising, and hard training – mustn’t forget that bit too!



Put your back into it girl!

Thanks to photographer Chris Barsby-Robinson for the action Virgin Active shot!

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Comments on: "Mount Kilimanjaro climb" (10)

  1. john horne said:

    Kaddy, all the best with you climbing kilimangaro, take care and have fun. I will defantley sponsor you dear friend, you’ve been a great friend to me over the years and support of my progression as an artist. Go for it kaddy, you can do it. Love from john horne, swanmore, hants

    • Thanks John – I was so thrilled to see you’d sponsored me. You’ve always been so supportive of my charity challenges, even though you don’t live in the region anymore! So thank you – your kindness is much appreciated. love Kaddy x

  2. Joe Eddington said:

    Hi Kaddy, In 2005 I did a the Inca Trail in Peru for SCOPE. I was 58 then. Living in Thanet I had similar problems about training. I went over to Dover and walked on the cliffs to Folkestone. I went on the fastest longest walks that White Cliffs Ramblers put on, I ran up and down the steps here at Epple Bay early in the morning. I went into mountains in the Pyrenees with the Anglo-French walking holidays group. All this improved my stamina but nothing prepared me for the altitude. We went upto 14 500 feet at our highest point and what struck me was how I had to adapt to slow mode. It was snail pace. I didnt have altitude sickness- some of the 65 trekkers were temporarily affected though. I did develop a back strain that had to modify my trek experience though( I took a shorter walk to Macchu Pichu on the last day- , and as a doctor – I took doctor’s orders very badly. but thats another story.)
    About that time you had done a marvellous bike odyssey. You are still 20 or so years younger than I was in 2005 so I think you will do it with energy to spare.I have to say I look on my experience with pride and huge nostalgia and gratitude to people who sponsored me.
    Have a great time.
    Joe Eddington

    • Thank you for your lovely message – It is always good to hear about success stories so thank you for sharing that with me. I must say that it’s the risk of altitude sickness that worries me the most, but I’m sure I’ll be ok. I won’t like going at a snail’s pace though! But I’ve heard that’s the only way to do it, so will happily go at the pace we’re meant to!
      Thanks again, love kaddy x

  3. Warren Nel said:

    Wow Kaddy! All the best for this. I hope that your training goes well.

  4. Chris Smee said:

    I have a frame just waiting for your letter!! 🙂 x

  5. dave sampson said:

    really hope all goes well kaddy, be great to see the video/piccs of the trip .
    buy you a large pint to quench the thirst too.
    Best of luck
    Dave x

  6. Amanda Boakes said:

    Good luck with the climb hope everything goes well. Look forward to receiving a letter from you.

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