An intrepid group of car retail sector leaders are now just days away from an epic fund-raising climb up Mount Kilimanjaro… two years after the COVID-19 pandemic stalled the expedition.

JCT600 chief executive John Tordoff and Marshall Motor Group commercial development director Adrian Wallington are among the party of automotive sector leaders who will trek over 90km as they take on the 5,895m climb to Africa’s highest peak.

The challenge – orginally sheduled to take place in 2020 – will see the team of 15 tackle heat, freezing temperatures and the effects of altitude as they battle the elements to complete the challenge over the course of six days, starting on November 21.

JCT600's John Tordoff and Andy Bateman in training for their Kilimanjaro climbSpeaking to AM about the challenge Tordoff, who underwent heart surgery in 2020, said: “The challenge has felt like a long time coming, but I’ve just turned 59 and I feel fitter than ever.

“Kilimanjaro’s going to be a huge challenge, but it’s for a great cause.”

Here are the teams taking on the challenge with the aim of setting a new ILC fundraising record of £300,000 through their efforts:

  • Marshall Motor Group – Adrian Wallington and Clive McGregor
  • JCT600 – John Tordoff and Andy Bateman
  • Ben – Zara Ross, Matt Wigginton, and Rachel Clift
  • Partners& and Lawgistics – Leon Bosch and Joel Combes
  • Hella – Neil Grant and Spencer Grinham
  • LKQ Euro Car Parts – Andy Hamilton and Anthony McAteer
  • Haymarket – Rachael Prasher and Jim Holder

The Kilimanjaro trek was inspired by the efforts of former Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) chief executive Sarah Sillars OBE, who took on Mount Kilimanjaro over 10 years ago, raising £38,000 for Ben.

Delays to the latest Ben ILC have meant that participants have had to maintain their physical fitness over a period spanning more than two years in anticipation of an re-arranged date for the challenge.

This led to the group completing Britain’s Three Peaks challenge last year, climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden in the space of 24 hours. You can get a taste of their experience in Ben’s Youtube highlights package here:

Matt Wigginton, director of partnerships, engagement and income at Ben, said: “We all have our own mountains to climb at some point in our lives, so we felt that this challenge was very fitting. Now more than ever, automotive people need Ben – and we need you and your support.

“We are so excited to reach the snow-capped summit of Mount Kilimanjaro with some of the most intrepid leaders in our industry.

“All money raised through this challenge will help Ben provide much-needed support to those in our industry who are tackling their own personal mountains in life, especially right now.”

Different teams have set up their own fund-raising pages in order to generate their portion of the £300,000 overall target.

To show support via the main Ben fund-raising portal, click here.

To keep up with the team’s progress throughout their African expedition follow the Twitter account @BenSupport4Auto or search for the social media hashtag  #ILCTHECLIMB.



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