No Mountain Too High For Chris

Local man's taking on Kilimanjaro

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Chris Cockburn

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Ealing student Chris Cockburn is taking on his ultimate challenge – climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for charity.

Chris, of Gloucester Road, said: “I always thought that climbing a mountain was something I couldn't do, especially seeing as I've always been the ridiculously skinny, unfit kid. I just really want to push myself and challenge myself to do something that I never thought was possible.”

The 20-year-old, who is training to be a primary school teacher at Roehampton University, is going to Kenya on January 5 as a volunteer to teach at a primary school near Nairobi and will be taking on the exacting test while there.

He will be raising money for the Tom Clabburn Memorial Fund which is run by charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) and sponsors free heart screenings for young people, mainly in Ealing. Tom, who died aged 14 in 2007, was one of the 12 young people aged 14-35 that the charity say die each week from undiagnosed heart conditions.

Chris said: “Tom's Fund is obviously very close to my heart, having known Tom from such a young age. We were at Little Ealing primary school together and then Drayton Manor. I just want to do my bit to help contribute and raise awareness so that what happened to Tom won't happen to more people.”

He said that the main aim of going to Kenya was to broaden his teaching knowledge: “All the teaching experiences I have had so far have been very similar, all in English primary schools following the National Curriculum, rarely deviating into the children’s own interests. I'm hoping that by experiencing teaching within a different setting I will be able to bring what I have learned back into my own classroom after I graduate. Also, the schools will have a lot less resources than those in England, so I'm very interested to see how learning takes place with a much smaller budget."

Chris added: "Going to Africa is going to be an amazing experience, in and of itself. I'm really excited to not only be able to teach children who may not have the best resources but also to be able to go on safari and see everything that I loved as a kid in the Lion King. I'm taking a plush lion just so I can sing the 'Circle of Life' at Pride Rock!”

Anyone who wants to support Chris can do so by visiting his Justgiving page at





30th December 2013