Patricia steps to it to help orphanage

Patricia Gilluley
Patricia Gilluley

A Motherwell ex-pat is training to reach the highest point in Africa by climbing the stairs of one of the town’s town blocks.

Patricia Gilluley (nee McFarlane) is aiming to reach to the top of Kilimanjaro next month to raise funds for a Kenyan orphanage.

She moved to Australia over 30 years ago, but has been back home recently due to the ill-health of her mother Elizabeth.

Sadly, Elizabeth has subsequently died, but Patricia is determined to go on with her challenge in her mum’s memory.

For the last few weeks she has been walking from North Orchard Street to Burnside Tower, climbing up and down the stairs three times, before carrying on to Wishaw General Hospital and back again, all with four lbs of rice on her back.

Patricia, who now lives in Rockhampton, Queensland, is a member of the State Emergency Service and previously tackled the infamous Kodoro trail in Papua New Guinea.

She said: “I was asked to go to Africa earlier this year as a member of Rotary and during my time there we visited three orphanages.

“I was so moved that I knew I had to do something to help, so with a group of friends, we arranged to tackle Kilimanjaro.

“It probably won’t be as hard as Kokodo, but there is no doubt it will still be quite the challenge, it is the highest mountain in Africa after all, and I was lucky enough a friend who lives in Burnside Tower offered me a key to be able to continue my training.

“I am as ready as I’ll ever be and now have the added incentive of making sure I conquer the mountain for Mum, while at the same time hopefully raising lots of money for the Umoja Home in Mombassa.”

For more information on Patricia’s challenge and to donate visit Trish’s challenge