EmilySandbach TNThis week, we had the pleasure of welcoming back Emily Sandbach (2019 Leaver) to speak to us about her amazing experience of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as her other charity work. 

Over a delightful supper, she reminisced on her experience as a Calne girl, commenting on what was different and what hadn’t changed. We laughed over shared memories of teachers, some of us sharing the same teachers for our A Levels as she had for hers, as well as conversing over our university choices and experiences as university applicants. It was a lovely experience to be able to talk to an old Calne girl, who was both a recent Leaver and seasoned university student, allowing her to provide us with a close insight into the many different routes her and her friends (many ex-Calne girls) took after leaving St Mary's, and approaching their higher education. 

In her lecture, Emily narrated the challenging, yet extremely rewarding, experience of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, which she achieved by being sponsored by peers and family, with the aim of raising money for the Meningitis Research Foundation, in association with Students Against Meningitis. We were captivated by the stunning photographs she displayed to us as she narrated the sometimes-harrowing experience of climbing the mountain and walking for around 9-10 hours each day. The climb took her and her group a total of four days to reach the summit and two days to descended. We were intrigued by her account of her group’s experience with altitude sickness and, although she herself was lightly affected, around half of the group couldn’t make it to the summit, being too sick to continue walking. 

She followed this fascinating account of her adventure by speaking, in detail, about the charity, Meningitis Research Foundation, which she was raising money for, and her journey of fundraising.

She also spoke of her decision to run a half marathon, and her experience of training for this as a ‘non-athletic’ person who hadn’t participated in team sports when here in Calne. Her positive attitude was inspiring as she urged us, those sporty and not, to be undaunted by challenge and to persist through the self-doubt that can come when approaching something so new. 

Tilly, UVI