Two Scots and a Christmas dinner…No this isnt the start of a terrible joke. But it was the start of a great adventure.
How often do you talk to friends or family about the things you would love to do? Lose weight, give up smoking, travel the world, run a marathon. Everyone has their own ambitions and personal challenges, but so often these remain just dreams.
Over Christmas dinners and at family gatherings, Andrew and his uncle David talked about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world. They imagined what it would be like to achieve such a feat and the challenges they would face along the way. In 2011, over turkey and stuffing, David challenged Andrew, suggesting that he should organise the trip. Little did they know that this one act would lead to a life changing adventure for 25 individuals and a lasting legacy for the people we support.
Andrew accepted his uncles challenge with vigour and enthusiasm. He persuaded Carr Gomm to adopt the event, turning it from a challenging holiday into a major fundraising feat; a fundraising initiative that would provide opportunities for the people we support to try new activities and experiences, helping people to overcome challenges, learn new skills, improve their confidence, and ultimately tackle loneliness and isolation.
Its often said that enthusiasm is catching and soon Andrew had more individuals signing up to join the challenge.
After months of fundraising, training weekends and getting to know each other, the group finally assembled at Edinburgh airport bound for Tanzania. Filled with excitement and nervous energy they embarked on their challenge.
After five and a half days' gruelling trekking, the group had done it. They stood on the roof of Africa. Some cried, others laughed and two even danced in celebration of their achievement.
There are many reasons to sit comfortably at home it is warm, dry and safe. But that is not where memories come from. Standing on the top of Kilimanjaro with David is one of my best memories and it will never be forgotten. The best memories come from the best experiences. Why dont you create a life-long memory? [Andrew, Kili Climber 2013]
With each trekker receiving support and encouragement from friends and family, Andrew and Davids ambition had made it from the kitchen table to the hearts of so many and in doing so had raised a staggering 42,000 for Carr Gomm's work tackling loneliness and isolation in communities across Scotland.
Have you caught their enthusiasm? Do you feel stirred to take on the challenge yourself?