MD TO SCALE NEW HEIGHTS FOR TEESSIDE FAMILY FOUNDATION

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JMAC BOSS TO SCALE NEW HEIGHTS FOR TEESSIDE FAMILY FOUNDATION

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As managing director of JMAC, a scaffolding and construction safety specialist, Luis McCarthy has always had a head for heights.

But now, Luis, aged 34 from Middlesbrough, is taking his love of climbing to the extreme, by tackling the Himalayas in the hope of raising up to £15,000 for The Teesside Family Foundation.

Luis and JMAC have been supporters of the charity since 2018 and this year, Luis decided he wanted to challenge both himself and the company to go even further to support The Teesside Family Foundation.

Luis says: “The objective for me this year is to push the limits of, not only my own abilities, but the teams at JMAC, to see what difference we can make in our community and industry by thinking and being different.

“The Teesside Family Foundation is run entirely by volunteers – they’re all doing it out of the goodness of their hearts and I think that’s what real charity is.”

He adds he was moved by one of the charity’s efforts last year, to fund a special wheelchair for a young boy.

“You could see that the family were really struggling – and TTFF came forward and helped that family,” he said.

“It’s personal.

“It’s about helping a person, or a family, and that’s what I really like about it.”

Luis adds the words ‘charity starts at home’ really resonate with him and this is something he firmly believes in.

“Teesside is my home and the Teesside Family Foundation’s slogan is we look after our own,” he says.

“Within Teesside, there are some amazing people and businesses and we also have some people who are less fortunate than ourselves.

“Within us all is the ability to help another and to be nice and sometimes, this isn’t all about donating, this could be giving up some of your time at Christmas to wrap presents that have been donated or go and work in a homeless shelter for a day.

“I am going to lead from the front with a very difficult task, summiting two mountains in the Himalayas, namely Mera Peak at 6,476m or 21,247ft and Island Peak at 6,160m or 20,210ft.”

To put this mammoth feat into perspective, both peaks Luis will be challenging are higher than the biggest mountains in Europe, Africa, the North Pole and South Pole.

He will be climbing for a total of 14-15 days and has been gearing up for the challenge by completing 20k runs and ridge walks in the Lakes.

Some of the local runs he has done have taken in Roseberry Topping and Clay Bank.

He also climbed both Glen Nevis and Helvellyn in the snow as part of a 26km trek.

“If you’re the first one in the path on the snow it’s up to your knees and you’re finding your own path,” he explains.

“Every step is three times as hard as it would be without the snow.”

However, this was all much-needed preparation for the snowy conditions on the Himalayas, where temperatures can drop to as low as -40 degrees.

Luis will be living in a tent during the journey, as he tries to shield himself from the elements.

“I am expecting it to be the most challenging experience of my life to date,” says Luis, who has funded the cost of the trip and all the potentially lifesaving equipment he needs himself.

“However, this is nothing compared to some of the hardship some kids and families on Teesside are experiencing today and every pound I raise will go to this amazing charity to help families and children in our area.”

Tony Wedlake, a trustee of The Teesside Family Foundation, said: “We are immensely proud that JMAC and Luis have been supporters of The Teesside Family Foundation since 2018 and would like to thank them for their continued support – and wish Luis the very best of luck on this frightening challenge!

“It’s all for a great cause, where every penny raised helps people in need across Teesside, from grassroots sports clubs to families in need of a well-deserved holiday.

“Without people like Luis and JMAC – and our other supporters across the local area – the Foundation wouldn’t be as successful as it is today.”

To support Luis, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jmac-himalayastrek

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