Fresh from climbing the five peaks in the UK, Phillip ‘Barney’ Gillespie is gearing up to take on his toughest challenge yet - climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Phillip was part of a team that conquered the five peaks over five days raising a fantastic £2,500 for the ABF- The Soldier’s Charity, which played a very important role in Phillip’s rehabilitation after he was wounded in Afghanistan.
In January 2011, Phillip was on his third tour when he stood on an IED, this resulted in him losing his lower right limb and suffering several fractures to his left leg.
Recently fitted with a brand new prosthetic, he told the Times that he is now aiming to climb Kilimanjaro in July, his most daunting challenge to date.
Speaking about the task ahead, he said: “I have always wanted to climb Kilimanjaro and now my mate and I are attempting this challenge and raise money for a charity that is very important to me.
“The Kilimanjaro climb is a bigger distance than the other five peaks put together so it is going to be a lot tougher.”
He added: “When I went to the five peaks challenge I underestimated it.
“It was harder than I thought, especially Ben Nevis, that was a long day.
“This is one climb but it is longer than the other five peaks put together so it is going to be a lot tougher.
“It is not just the distance but altitude will play a big part in how difficult this challenge will be.”
Recently ABF- The Soldier’s Charity named Phillip as their fund-raiser of the yea.
He added: “The Soldier’s Charity has helped me a lot and they didn’t ask me for anything in return but I felt the need to give something back to them. Money raised for ABF in Northern Ireland is spent here and that’s another reason why I want to help raise money for them.
“From getting blown up and then going through rehab I know the effects of my injuries will take their toll in 20 or thirty years.
“My leg might not be able to be strong enough for prosthetics and I know that when that happens, ABF Charity will be there for me.”