THREE friends are set to embark on a mammoth series of challenges in the name of charity.
Dean Smith and Scott Harper, both 24 and of Jarrow, and pal Tom Hattersley, 22, are raising funds for Childreach International, a charity providing access to education and healthcare for children.
The three friends have raised about £4,500 over the last three months by holding a series of events, but they are set to step up their efforts in the months to come and aim to raise at least £10,000 for the charity.
On Friday, May 9, a fundraising gig will be held at the Lord Nelson Inn, in Monkton Lane, Jarrow, with Tyneside band the Gaslighters set to perform from 7pm.
As well as the music, there will be a raffle, games and food, with all proceeds going to the charity.
After that, the friends’ strenuous set of challenges begins.
The day after, they will zipline along the Tyne Bridge between Newcastle and Gateshead, and they will follow that on Saturday, June 21, by taking part in the Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge.
That will involve a 63-mile bike ride into Northumberland starting and finishing at Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club’s Kingston Park ground.
Their biggest challenge is set to begin on Monday, July 7, when they climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
They will compete in the Great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields on Sunday, September 7, before concluding their quests on Sunday, September 28 by doing the Loch Ness Marathon in Scotland.
Mr Smith, a human resources adviser, said: “We’re just doing it to do something good and give something back. We all work nine to five, but it’s for a great cause and keeps you busy.
“I think climbing Mount Kilimanjaro will be one of the toughest challenges for us, as we haven’t done anything like that before.
“We’re looking forward to it, though, and are running about 40 miles a week to prepare for it all.
“We’re all trying to be in the best shape possible.
“None of us has done anything like this before, so training is very important to us.
“We just need to motivate each other to get out and do it.
“We’re sending Scott some training drills for when he is on the rigs, so he can keep motivated.”
People can donate to the cause by texting ‘unlock133287’ to 70007, which will donate £3.