Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 16:17 UK

Ten-year-old to climb Kilimanjaro

Jack Harley-Walsh
If Jack succeeds he wants to climb two further African mountains

A 10-year-old boy from Berkshire is hoping to become one of the youngest people to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Jack Harley-Walsh, of Ascot, is preparing to climb the 19,330ft (5,892m) peak in north east Tanzania, close to the Kenyan border, on 27 July.

He is hoping to raise money for the Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust and another local charity, Sebastian's Action Trust.

Jack said he was raising money for the trust after visiting a fun day it held.

He said it was his "best day out ever".

If Jack manages to climb Africa's highest peak, he says he wants to then go on to attempt Mount Meru and Mount Kenya.

His mother, Sue, said she was concerned he might be affected by altitude sickness.

"I am so proud of Jack," she said. "Fitness will not be an issue, the worry is the altitude sickness, it does not matter how fit you are, it can affect anybody.

'Massive achievement'

"But we are going with a full team of supporters and whatever Jack does, will be a massive achievement for a boy of his age."

The Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance, which serves Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, relies entirely on sponsorship and donations and costs £2m a year to run.

The helicopter ensures patients are transferred to hospital in the crucial "golden hour" - when doctors have the best chance of saving lives.

Sebastian's Action Trust was set up in memory of a nine-year-old boy, whose's dying wish was to have a holiday home built in his memory where seriously-ill children could take their families for a holiday.

Sebastian Gates, from Binfield, near Wokingham, Berkshire, died of cancer on Christmas Eve 2003.

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