Teenager's charity climbing challenge to fund dream African trip

Abbie Parkes-Holden with her family at Wigan Youth Zone
Abbie Parkes-Holden with her family at Wigan Youth Zone
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A teenage fund-raiser from the borough is scaling new heights to fund a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa with her school.

Abbie Parkes-Holden, 14, is climbing the 1,345m height of Britain’s tallest peak Ben Nevis on the wall at Wigan Youth Zone (WYZ) so she can go to Tanzania next summer.

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The 14-year-old pupil at Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley heard about the opportunity to travel to the continent and immediately jumped at the chance.

Abbie and the other teenagers will head to east Africa with Camps International where they will meet communities and help with projects selected by local residents.

However, she and her family also need to find the £4,150 cost of the dream trip so a large fund-raising campaign has swung into action.

And in looking for unusual and tricky challenges Abbie hit on her enthusiasm for climbing which she developed by going to the youth zone.

Mum Kirstie Holden, 41, said: “She started going to the youth zone on the outreach bus with her friends and really took a shine to climbing.

“She’s come on leaps and bounds since she started. She decided she would climb the height of the mountain for her Tanzania fund-raising.

“At first she was going to do it over a couple of Friday nights but then set herself more of a challenge and will try it over two days. The climbing instructor said it would be difficult for her but they would see how it goes.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity and Abbie immediately wanted to go. She’s really excited about what other doors it might open for her.

“I didn’t want to regret not letting her go. There was nothing like this when I was at school.”

The young people travelling to Tanzania could find themselves carrying out tasks ranging from repairing homes and building new ones to providing clean water supplies to conservation and environmental sustainability work.

Other fund-raising ideas in the pipeline for Abbie, who is also a member of the 5th Tyldesley Scouts, include football cards and a charity match.

Kirstie and her work colleagues and friends are also looking at ways to support Abbie’s dream including an Easter bingo event and possibly a race night.

To find out more or donate visit either www.gofundme.com/abbie-parkesholden039s-tanzania-charity-expedition or www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/abbieparkesholden/