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Kingsclere girl climbing Mount Everest in NHS fundraiser

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11-year-old smashes fundraising target

A KINGSCLERE schoolgirl is using the lockdown to reach new heights as she takes on the challenge of climbing Mount Everest up her staircase at home to raise money for the NHS.

Sophie Auld, aged 11, who attends Kingsclere Primary School, is climbing 3,093 flights of stairs to reach the equivalent of the summit of Mt Everest – which stands at a mammoth 8,848 metres.

Since starting the epic task on Wednesday, April 15, Sophie has climbed for more than 23 hours up 2,467 flights of stairs – taking her 7,055m up the Himalayan giant.

She has passed the altitude of Base Camp in Nepal at a height of 5,364m, while even making her own makeshift base camp at the bottom of the stairs.

Since being forced to stay at home during lockdown, Sophie wanted to do her bit to help the NHS and decided she would take on the challenge to raise money for the health service.

Although the original fundraising target was £100, she has already smashed it – raising almost £900.

Sophie said: “The NHS is doing such an amazing job and I wanted to do what I could to help.

“It’s definitely a much tougher challenge than I realised, but it’s worth it and I see it as the least I can do.”

Balancing the challenge with her home-schooling, Sophie is climbing the stairs for two to three hours every day, six days a week.

Cheering her on all the way is her mother Danielle Auld, who said: “I am extremely proud of her. I was a little anxious when she first said she wanted to do it.

“I said, ‘Are you sure?’ But she was absolutely determined.

“She set up a JustGiving page and every day it kept climbing up and we’re in shock at how much it’s raised.

“People are leaving messages for her on my Facebook page, which is really encouraging.

“When she’s flagging and on her 50th flight of stairs, I’m reading out messages that her friends and family are leaving, which is great.”

You can support Sophie as she continues to climb to the highest peak in the world and help her to raise much-needed funds for the NHS by donating at here.

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