Claire overcomes fear of heights for charity

Claire Gallon.
Claire Gallon.
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A customer service assistant with an acute fear of heights has taken part in a climb up a mountain in aid of charity.

Claire Gallon, from Cramlington, was unable to manage the incline of station escalators when travelling with work.

But as her 40th birthday approached she decided to tackle her biggest fear and climb Mount Skiddaw, the fourth biggest mountain in the UK, to raise funds for Smile For Life Children’s Charity in Gosforth.

Claire, from Allonby Mews, Cramlington, said: “I was suffering from panic attacks and the doctor told me I needed to look at my lifestyle.

“It was the push I needed and so I got a friend who is a personal trainer to help me. I have always had a big fear of heights which has affected everything, so as part of the training we began to climb up little hills. It was so hard, but I was determined.”

After 18 months of training and a ten-minute session of hypnotherapy, Claire faced her ultimate challenge of climbing Mount Skiddaw in Cumbria which is 3,054 ft above sea level. The trek took 5.5 hours to complete.

“A lot of people had been sponsoring me and I was motivated not only to help my fear, but the charity,” she said.

“My friends, family and colleagues were all so supportive.

“They knew how bad my fear was – it actually runs in the family, so they knew it was a huge deal for me to do this.

“When I got to the top I felt brilliant.”

To sponsor Claire, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/clairegallon