An inspirational Sutton woman has been hard at work as she gets ready to climb the highest mountain in Africa this coming weekend.

Sal Bolton will set off on the six-day climb to the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro on Sunday (October 13) as she attempts to raise awareness and funds for people affected by ME, or chronic fatigue syndrome.

The 36-year-old said: “I'm doing the climb in support of something close to home, to raise funds and awareness for my twin sister’s illness ME, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which she has been battling with for over 10 years.

“I feel there is a lack of awareness for this presently incurable illness which affects the nervous and immune system of over 250,000 people in the UK alone, robbing them of energy to live a normal functioning life.

“ME has been widely misunderstood, you have to imagine running the London Marathon with a flu or being bed-bound after a short walk to the corner shop. It can make sufferers feel very anxious, neglected and isolated from society and the medical profession.”

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Sal has been preparing for the high-altitude trek by training with a breathing mask 3-4 times a week, as she is set to climb as high as 5,895 metres.

She added: “Having previously volunteered in Ghana for 5 months, I love Africa and have never done a multi-day mountain trek, so climbing Kilimanjaro has been the only physical challenge I've always really wanted to experience and I have been so inspired by other women who have done it.

“I've been training hard for the expedition for over six months now with the kind support and guidance of The Gym Group, Sutton, and multiple training walks in local Box Hill, Surrey Hills, The Ridgeway, a week hiking in the lofty fells of the Lake District, and a session at the The Altitude Centre in London.”

Sal will be raising money for the charity Action for ME and has a funding page set up at: