A trio of nurse’s working at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children (RBHSC) are preparing to climb and conquer Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania all the while raising funds and awareness for the Helping Hand charity.

Based in the Children’s Hospital Helping Hand was established to provide the best equipment, to fund research, education and to support the immediate needs of children and their parents at the hospital.

Former St Genevieve’s High School pupil Deirdre Kane, who is based at the Children’s, along with nursing colleagues Claire McGennity and Nadine McMackin, are funding the trek themselves, Deirdre told the Andersonstown News that the girls will be taking part in the annual Féile Carnival Parade on Sunday with a few Helping Hand buckets at the ready.

“We are all really excited for Sunday,” said Deirdre, “being from West Belfast I attend the festival every year with my family so to be part of the carnival is unbelievable. We are taking part in a ‘bed push’, the carnival theme this year is ‘Beast of Feast’ and we’ve chosen to do a mesh up entitled ‘The Surgical Lion King’ so it had to be seen to be believed,” she said.

“The RBHSC plays a pivotal role in West Belfast, it’s a birthplace for most of the community and also a source of employment for some residents. We are asking the community to support us and support Helping Hand on Sunday. Local businesses have kindly donated prizes for raffles and the girls and I are very thankful for everything we’ve been given or had donated so far.

“We will be leaving for the trek on September 7 and will take a seven-day trek to the summit of 19,341ft – ‘Africa’s Rooftop’ and have been physically been preparing for it by doing long hikes but the biggest challenge we will face is the altitude.

“We really are overwhelmed with the amount of support we have received from our local communities, our target is £5,000 and we are inching towards it,” she said.

“We are hoping the people of West Belfast get behind us and help us reach our target.”

To donate or find out more about the trek visit www.justgiving.com/CCC-NURSES