A team of nine volunteers braved the highest mountain in Africa to raise vital funds for St Raphael’s Hospice.

The group, led by Cheam entrepreneur Roger Davies, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise £20,000 for the hospice in its 25th anniversary year.

The money will go towards the Sutton Guardian and the hospice's Give Your Quid Campaign.

Their adventure included tackling five terrains - tropical rainforests, shrubland, grassland, rocks and ice and snow.

All nine of them reached the summit, five made it to Gilman’s Point at 5681 metres and the other four climbed higher up to Uluru Point at 5895 metres.

Mr Davies said: "I am proud of everyone who took part in this expedition.

They demonstrated such determination to succeed - congratulations to them all.

"It was the first time I climbed with my metal knee and it worked brilliantly."

One team member, Sue Richards, is a healthcare assistant in the X-ray department at St Anthony’s Hospital, the sister organisation to St Raphael’s Hospice, who said: "It was an incredible experience, a lot harder than I thought but it was to our credit that we all made it to the top - especially for those who managed to get that wee bit higher."

David Amarasekera, another participant, said: "I’ve fulfilled my life-time’s ambition. I was born in Malawi and from the age of 8 it was always on my mind to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I feel so chuffed to have done it, so exhilarated as I came down the mountain."

It was a big achievement for Lesley Pender, mother of four and a teaching assistant who had never been outside Europe before.

She said: "St Raphael’s Hospice took great care of my brother-in-law’s father John, who was a much loved husband of Avis and father to Christine and Steve. St Raphael’s Hospice made his last days as dignified and comfortable as was possible.

"So to have the chance to give a little to ensure this wonderful Hospice can continue its heart felt care made my challenge all the more worth it."

Other climbers included Peter Wickenden, Anthony Mills, Geoffrey Nunn, Andy Nunn, Adam Cole and Jeremy Connaire.

Keith Witham, Director of Fundraising, St Raphael’s Hospice, said: "We want to congratulate Roger and his team for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro - a fantastic achievement. A big thank you to them for raising so much money for the Hospice."