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Ponteland Online News has a number of contributing authors, all of whom will add their own posts on various aspects of village life, from the housing market to events and public meetings. If you are involved in a business or organisation, be it a school, church or a club in the Ponteland area and would like to contribute to the blog on a regular basis or just from time to time please email Ponteland Online Admin You must put the story title in the email subject line and the story itself in the main body of the email, add any picture attachments and send as normal.

All stories must edited ready to go straight online. Grammar, spellings, use of capital letters and punctuation must be correct for the story to appear.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Helen Keller once said that, “Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing.” It is the sentiment contained within this quotation that has inspired me throughout my life and specifically motivated me to commit to this unique challenge. My goal is to raise £6,962.00 for the Help for Heroes Charity, by reaching the summit of Aconcagua, Argentina during 8th – 31st January 2010. At 6,962m, Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the world outside of the Himalaya and with a target donation rate of £1 per metre, a very worthwhile goal for a charity that truly does make a difference to the lives’ of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

To find out more about how your donation will make a real difference, visit the Help for Heroes website. Before we go any further I should introduce myself to those of you who don’t know me; my name is Tony Hodson, and I live in Northumberland with my wife Maureen and children Jessica, Olivia and Joshua, not forgetting our black Labrador, Sparky. When not working, I am an enthusiastic mountaineer and keen photographer; you can visit here to learn more

So why Help for Heroes a friend recently asked; as an enthusiastic mountaineer myself, I was inspired by the recent achievements of Major Phil Packer who was not expected to walk again after suffering a spinal injury whilst serving in Iraq in 2008. Yet you may recall that this year he completed the London Marathon, rowed across the English Channel and successfully climbed the 3,000ft sheer rock face of El Capitan, a mountain in Yosemite National Park - clearly not a guy who hides ‘under the circumstances!’ This is a big target and I need the help of a lot of people to achieve this goal, so I ask you to dig deep and donate now.

I am paying ALL of my own trip costs and using the services of Adventure Peaks, a specialist mountaineering company based in the Lake District who are organising the expedition. Therefore 100% of your donation (128% if you tick the Gift Aid box) will go to the Help for Heroes Charity. Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure visit Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails.

Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. Thanks for taking an interest in this challenge and PLEASE make your donation NOW, every pound raised makes a real difference! With kind regards and best wishes