Hays and Intrepid climbers smash charity fund-raising target

Teams from Hays Travel and Intrepid have raised £15,000 for charity by climbing the highest mountain in North Africa.

The group reached the top of Mount Toubkal with the assistance of Intrepid’s expert guides and crew on a trip sponsored by the Moroccan National Tourist Office.

Funds raised will go to the Hays Foundation, which helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds reach their potential, and Education for All, a charity supported by the Intrepid Foundation that helps girls in the Atlas Mountains continue their education.

The agency group’s owner Dame Irene Hays was so moved by the project during her visit that she pledged to support three girls from Education for All and invited them to embark on a three month internship at Hays’ Sunderland headquarters.

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She said: “It was a wonderful experience to be able to go along and support the team on this challenge. I am so proud of them all. It was also incredibly humbling and inspiring to see the work done at the Education for All project in the Atlas Mountains. I’m looking forward to welcoming three of the girls to Sunderland.”

Intrepid EMEA managing director Zina Bencheikh said: “It was a pleasure to host the team from Hays in Morocco. Everyone did incredibly well not only to summit Toubkal, but to smash the original target of £5,000 and raise much needed funds for both charities.

“It was particularly special to visit Education for All – meeting the girls and the house mothers is always a memorable and moving experience. Thank you to the Moroccan National Tourism Office for your help in making this trip possible.”

Adel El Fakir, chef executive of the Moroccan National Tourism Office, added: “We’re delighted to support Hays and Intrepid’s Toubkal trek. Morocco is a fantastic destination for active holidays and Mount Toubkal is one of the highlights for many travellers.”