FIVE Gwent magistrates scaled the highest mountain in Africa across Easter raising £7,000 for charity.

Paul Webb, deputy chairman of the bench, Andy Hunt, Gill Gibbs, Alison Huckle and Sue Blair along with two social workers Beverly Webb and Sally Loughane scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the highest free standing mountain in the world in aid of the Moving Mountains Trust.

The team of seven spent seven days on the mountain reaching the base camp before four of the magistrates set off to climb the summit at 5,895 metres above sea level.

Sue Blair, 68, of Llantrisant, Usk, has been a magistrate for the past 25-years, said: "We were 800 metres short from the summit. The mountain was covered in deep snow, there were 50 mile an hour gales and a snow blizzard. Sadly we couldn't make it to the top but it was absolutely amazing, a once in a lifetime experience.

"The first four days we had perfect weather for climbing. It was incredibly hard work, I've had no experience in climbing and this was my first experience camping."

She added: "Everyone was so generous in donating for a great cause, we got to visit Embu, a town northeast of Nairobi where they were developing a drop in centre for children to obtain food. It was a wonderful experience the children were so happy."

Andy Hunt, 49, of Newport, a Gwent magistrate and has been involved with the charity for the last 10 years. Working within Kenya and other African countries to develop schools and work with local organisations to combat social and environmental problems.

He said: "I've been taking groups of school children to Kenya to work with the charity developing schools and aid education. It's a great charity to be involved with."

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