Halesowen mountain climber reaching new heights for charity
A Black Country woman is preparing to conquer a near-10,000 foot mountain climb to raise funds for a charity close to her heart.
Emma Lilley is set to climb the Hohturli Pass, a high Alpine hiking pass of the Bernese Alps in Switzerland, in aid of Black Country Women’s Aid (BCWA).
She will take on the 9,317ft-high challenge – which is twice the size of Mount Snowdon – between August 22 and 25.
Emma, from Halesowen, is hoping to raise plenty of money for BCWA, an independent charity that has supported survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence in the West Midlands for 30 years.
Emma received help from the charity in the past and said supporting it meant a lot to her. “I brought Black Country Women’s Aid into my life because of a bad past experience,” she said.
“I got referred to speak to them as I wanted to turn my life around after such a bad experience and help people who have gone through the same, if not worse.” Emma, an Interventions Officer for Dudley Interventions Service Centre, has been training for the challenge by climbing and hiking in Wales and the Lake District.
She hopes to raise at least £500 for BCWA, with £445 raised so far. Deborah Slater, Regional Fundraising Officer for BCWA, spoke about what the money raised would do for the service.
She said: “There’s so much we can do with this money. Even £5 makes a difference as it would pay for a toy for a child coming into refuge.
“There have been lots of cuts in funding for counselling and when children come into us who have experienced domestic or sexual abuse or rape.
“It’s absolutely vital that they get counselling as quickly as possible, so the money that Emma raises will hopefully go to some children’s therapy work, which really gets them through.”
Emma said she would love to inspire people through the climb and had a message for anyone who was suffering from domestic or sexual abuse.
“I would tell anyone to not suffer alone,” she said.
“I suffered alone for a long time and didn’t realise the help was there.
“Sometimes, you don’t even realise you’re being abused and, for me, it was emotional abuse, so you don’t understand it’s happening until it gets really bad and you have to try and get out.
“So my advice is pick up the phone and speak to somebody.” To donate to Emma’s fund, go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=EmmaLilley4&pageUrl=1
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