The South Shields Port of Tyne workers set to take on North Africa’s highest peak for charity

A group of Port of Tyne workers from South Shields are set to scale the highest mountain in North Africa for charity later this year.

By Sarah Sinclair
Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 6:00 am

In June, seven members of the Port of Tyne security team, aged from 25 to 54, will climb Mount Toubkal - the highest peak of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.

The six-day trek will see them take on the challenging climb, while battling altitude sickness, to reach the 4,167m summit in aid of the Tiny Lives Trust, which supports families of premature babies at the RVI hospital in Newcastle.

The group, who are all of varying levels of fitness, have been training since October and are planning a practice run on Ben Nevis in the coming months.

Members of the Port of Tyne security team will take on North Africa's highest peak, Mount Toubkal in aid of the Tiny Lives Trust at the RVI.

Keen climber, Darren Wardle, came up with the idea after reading about the trek online, and it instantly took off among the team.

“I’m into my climbing and I thought Mount Toubkal sounded excellent,” said the 36-year-old.

“We ended up talking about it and everybody wanted to get involved. It’s just taken off from there.”

He continued: “I have done Ben Nevis before but this is four times the height and the oldest member has never done anything like it. We’re all at different skills levels and we’ve put in a lot of miles between us.”

Members of the Port of Tyne security team while out training for their Mount Toubkal trek in June.

Darren wanted to support the Tiny Lives Trust after the charity helped his own family when his niece Ella was in the RVI’s Neonatal Unit having been born premature.

The trust supported the family financially and funded accommodation close to the hospital so they could visit her every day.

“The majority of us in the group have got kids, and everybody in the North East probably knows somebody who has been helped by the charity but I don’t think they get enough coverage,” said Darren.

“We wanted to help bring a light to what they do.”

Members of the Port of Tyne security team while out training for their Mount Toubkal trek in June.

He added: “Between the group there’s a lot of mixed feelings. Some people are quite nervous and don’t know what to expect, but we’ll all help each other crack on and keep each other sane.”

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