PROFESSIONAL England rugby player Rachel Burford visited Manheim’s Bruntingthorpe auction centre yesterday to meet the all-female team that climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise more than £23,000 for charity.
The 10 women, who all work for Cox Automotive, which owns Manheim, climbed Africa’s highest mountain in February as part of the group’s Women With Drive initiative, which champions equality in the automotive industry. The inspirational six-day trek in Tanzania took them over moorland, across rocky ridges and through some of the worst weather conditions seen on the mountain, which is 19,341ft above sea level, in recent years.
The Cox Automotive team presented a cheque for £23,760 to Sarah Webb, chief executive of Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity of rugby, at a Women With Drive event on International Women’s Day in March.
Burford, who has 79 caps for England and is an active ambassador for Wooden Spoon, which supports disabled and disadvantaged children across the UK, met the team to find out more about their adventure.
She said: ‘I’m really pleased to have met everyone today. Hearing the team talk about the challenges they faced on the climb, and their inspirational sense of achievement, has been incredible.
‘The Wooden Spoon charity continues to support disadvantaged children across the UK and we are all enormously grateful to the Cox Automotive team and to everyone who donated towards the climb.’
Alison Fisher, HR director for Cox Automotive, said: ‘We set up the Kilimanjaro challenge as part of Women With Drive’s ambition to showcase female achievements and inspire women across the business. The team set out to climb the mountain as a celebration of what women can do if they reach for their goals, and they have definitely achieved that.’
She added: ‘Women With Drive goes from strength to strength and we are passionate about ensuring that there is equality in our industry.’
Main picture shows (back row from left) Alison Fisher, Victoria Lee, Tracey Howell, Vicky Avison, Aneliese Platts, Kirsty Parkinson and Cox Automotive Community Foundation chairman Gerry Whittington, (front row from left) Gillian Bowen, Jo Robinson, Rachel Burford, Leanne Robinson and Rebecca Varo
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