Fundraiser to climb three volcanoes in five days to pay tribute to her family
Fundraiser Eirlys Greenough will scale three European volcanoes in just a week to pay tribute to her family and support the RAF Benevolent Fund.
The 47-year-old's husband Andy and two young children Evan and Nia died in a house fire 12 years ago, while the family were stationed at RAF Akrotiri. Now Eirlys is fundraising to give something back to the charity which stepped up to help in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.
She said: "The RAF Benevolent Fund were there so quickly. They were one of the first organisations to make a grant. I did not expect that. I remember feeling overwhelmed by getting it. There was no fuss, they were just there."
Eirlys, who works for online wool shop Woolstack in Cheltenham, is preparing to spend her Easter break climbing Mount Vesuvius, Mount Stromboli and Mount Etna. She will be joined on the Trek for Troops trip by her sister, Bethan Jones, who celebrates her 50th birthday this summer.
Eirlys, who is originally from Merthyr Tydfil, added: "I have climbed Mount Stromboli before and it was an incredible experience so I guess that gave me a taste for volcanoes! I've done some walking with my dog to prepare and I'm planning to wear lots of layers - I've heard Mount Etna has had snow!"
The challenge will begin on Easter Monday as the sisters prepare to ascend more than 3,400 metres climbing three volcanoes in five days.
Eirlys added: "I know it's going to be a challenge but the good thing about doing it for charity is it keeps you going when things get tough. And, of course, my family will be in my thoughts."
Charlotte Barmby, RAF Benevolent Fund Regional Fundraiser, said: "The RAF Benevolent Fund has been supporting the RAF Family for 100 years, families like Eirlys through the toughest times. Eirlys' determination to give something back to the Fund is truly inspirational.
"I wish her all the luck for what looks to be a scorching trip – in more ways than one!"
The RAF Benevolent Fund is the RAF's leading welfare charity, looking after the RAF Family for 100 years. In 2018, the Fund spent £21M supporting 53,000 members of that family.