TWO years ago Richard Smith’s friend challenged him to climb to the roof of Africa to raise money for Childreach International.

Now with less than a month to go until he scales Mount Kilimanjaro, Richard is working hard with Next Generation in Kembrey Park to reach the fitness levels he needs.

The 35-year-old, from Old Walcot, said: “I’ve done a lot for charity and my friend got to base camp at Everest a couple of years ago and I said that next time I’d go with him.

“I got in touch with Next Generation and they said that I could come in and use their facilities, and Jon said they would help to train me for free.

“They have been so good and so generous with their time.”

Although Richard is looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity to support children around the world, it does mean the father-of-three will miss his daughter’s first birthday.

He said: “I’m raising money for Childreach which goes towards helping children in poverty around the world.

“The organisers ended up bringing the dates forward which means I’m going to miss my daughter’s first birthday.

“I’m doing it to hopefully inspire my children to do things for charity and to help other people when they are older.”

So far Richard has raised around £2,658 for the charity, but is hoping to raise as much as he possibly can.

He said: “I just want to raise as much as I can, the sky’s the limit really.”

To sponsor Richard, donate online at