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West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock to climb Mont Blanc

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West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock will attempt to climb to the summit of Mont Blanc next month to raise money for a new children's hospital planned for Cambridge.

The former health secretary said: “East Anglia remains the only part of England that doesn't have a dedicated hospital for children, so there's a pressing need for a new hospital to serve the region, including my own constituency.

“The team behind Cambridge Children's Hospital have an inspiring vision, not just of creating a new children's hospital but of creating a world-class research centre that brings together the treatment of mental and physical health for children, like a new Great Ormond Street for the 21st century."

Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo during a training walk (57271794)
Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo during a training walk (57271794)

Matt signed off the initial £100 million funding for the new children's hospital when he was still health secretary.

The MP for West Suffolk said: "Every penny raised will help realise this important goal. Every step of my climb will be a step closer to giving children in need of care the most compassionate support modern medical science has to offer."

Matt, who has been training for the trek since the start of the year, will attempt the climb with his partner Gina Coladangelo and a guide.

Matt said: "I have always had a love of the mountains and although I'm not an expert climber I enjoy a big challenge. Taking on this breath-taking trek is something I have always wanted to do. I've been training and will be going out to the Alps at the start of the Parliamentary recess this summer to acclimatise and then make the attempt.

"The climb is a two-day trip, the first day to reach around 4,000m, and then we'll get up at around 3am to summit around dawn."

Shelley Thake, Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust chief executive, said: “It is fantastic that Matt and so many others are excited about fundraising for the new children's hospital and children's services at Addenbrooke's. We wish him well in his challenge."

Matt's JustGiving page is at https://bit.ly/3xpykKH