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‘Camper Van Guru’ Steve Lumley launches Kilimanjaro climb for WaterAid


Camper Van Guru Steve LumleyMiddlesex University alumnus and camper van entrepreneur Steve Lumley is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in March 2014, as he bids to raise in excess of £3,000 for the charity WaterAid.

Alongside a team of fundraisers from the United States and Canada, the BA Sociology graduate will spend seven days trekking up Africa's tallest mountain and navigate both desert and glaciers on the journey.

"I want to do this because everyone should have access to clean water, it is as simple as that," said Steve, who founded the award-winning CamperVantastic hire company in 2006.

"In the 21st century many people don't even have access to this most basic of commodities so they are forced to drink contaminated water that is making them ill or worse, and this is ludicrous given all of the other developments we have had in society."

The self-funded trip of a lifetime will see all donations go to the charity, with the 'Camper Van Guru' also set to visit two districts in Kenya where WaterAid are working to see how the funds he raises will be used.

"We have always had an ethical side to our business," said Steve. "We have promoted another charity called Riders For Health in the past, we use Fairtrade products wherever we can, and we use bottled water that supports WaterAid."

However, in 1993 Steve spent his placement year at Middlesex volunteering on a mental health project in Nigeria and this experience helped bring the work of WaterAid particularly close to his heart.

"When I was working in Nigeria, I worked in a rural part of the country and saw firsthand the need for clean water and sanitation," he explained.

"Our fundraising team then worked to get water pumps into villages so I have had an affinity with that field since doing the placement while at Middlesex."

Coincidentally, it was while on this placement that Steve met fellow volunteer Simon Mead, the friend who would ultimately bring him to Tanzania with the intention of climbing a 5,885m-tall dormant volcano.

Simon is now the Director of International Programs at WaterCan, the leading Canadian charity for clean water projects, and last year he sent Steve an email requesting sponsorship for an expedition he was involved in.

"I emailed back tongue-in-cheek to say that it sounded exciting and asked if I could go too, which rapidly progressed into a chat with WaterAid UK and me setting myself up as a fundraiser," said Steve.

The Kilimanjaro Climb for Life in support of WaterAid and WaterCan begins on Wednesday 5 March.

If you would like to donate or wish to find out more information about the trip, visit Steve's JustGiving page.

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