Andrew Binnie, a 17 year old sixth former at Derby Grammar School has spent his half term climbing the highest mountain in mainland Spain, Mulhacén, to raise money for a charity trip to Tanzania in July 2017.
Andrew knew that in order to achieve his target of £4000 he would have to do something special, something that would capture people’s interest and spur them on to donate.
Discounting his original idea of sailing around the British coast, he decided to climb Mulhacén in the Sierra Nevada, Spain.
At 3479m high it is mainland Spain’s highest mountain, and so not an adventure to be taken lightly. Andrew researched routes and came across a British company, Spanish Highs, facilitating treks in Southern Spain who could help him. After practice climbs of El Lucero (1779m) and El Cielo (1508m), and accompanied by a mountain guide and family friend, he set off on his adventure on May 30 which would take two days.
Andrew said: “the most memorable and challenging part of the climb for me was the last part above 3000m. The altitude started getting to me and breathing was difficult. But it was an incredible sense of achievement getting to the top and knowing what I had achieved.”
Andrew is raising money to travel to Gedeli B School in Tanzania. Derby Grammar School has supported the school through fundraising and practical help for the last five years. Every July sixth form pupils travel to Tanzania to work on development projects and teach the pupils.
To date over £65,000 has been raised which has built two toilet blocks, two classrooms and a special needs classroom. Funds have also enabled the installation of electricity and water, as well as the purchase of resources including desks, chairs and exercise books. This summer the team are focusing on creating a football field and another classroom.
Denise Binnie, Andrew’s mother, said: “The Tanzania project provides an amazing life experience for Year 12. We are very proud of Andrew. His climb is a wonderful example of what Derby Grammar School and Team Tanzania 2017 inspires its pupils to achieve.”