Hospice CEO conquers highest mountain in Africa

News Desk
Authored by News Desk
Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2024 - 09:15

After days of battling altitude sickness, diarrhoea, physical exertion, and extreme temperatures, Rowcroft Hospice’s CEO Mark Hawkins has reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, raising nearly £3,000 for the hospice.

Guided by experienced sherpas and sleeping in basic huts, Mark took on the Marangu route – known for its steepness and speed of ascent – to hike to the top of the highest mountain in Africa at 5,895 metres.

Following just over three days of trekking, he reached the summit on Wednesday 12 June in what he called the toughest challenge of his life.

“It was gruelling but I wanted to do it because of the cost-of-living crisis and the impact that it's had on Rowcroft,” said Mark. “I feel it’s important to lead by example in raising valuable funds for the hospice.

“I forget how many times I was sick over the five-day trek and had diarrhoea on the final climb, but bodies are amazingly resilient with the mind powering over matter. I am just so delighted to have raised so much money for such a special charity.

“It is the most arduous thing I have ever done but also one of the most rewarding. Thank you to everyone for the amazing support and generosity in helping to raise thousands of pounds to care for patients with life-limiting illnesses across South Devon.”

With Mark funding the 85km expedition personally, all donations received will go directly to Rowcroft Hospice to support the charity’s essential services and patient care.

To make a donation, go to Mark’s Just Giving page at: www.justgiving.com/page/mark- hawkins-1711132840409

If you’d like to take on a challenge for the hospice, please email hayley.townsend@rowcrofthospice.org.uk or call 01803 217450, or you can find out about

wingwalking and skydiving challenges on Rowcroft’s website at www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk/challenges