“Ever since I’d seen Mount Kilimanjaro from a plane I have wanted to walk up it. I’ve never done anything so dramatic since leaving the Army and even while I was in the Army I never did an expedition as challenging as this will be,” he said.
The councillor, who represents Central ward, booked his adventure and then decided he would also like to raise money for three charities close to his heart.
“I have chosen an African school that I visited in Kenya because I was really touched by the impact Olkimatare School was having in the Masai Mara area.”
He will also raise money for SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) which supports service staff families. “Without SSAFA, many families simply would not be able to cope with the stresses of service life and the long periods of separation.”
Mr Cranston served in the Army Air Corps flying helicopters and doing desk based work until 1996 taking early retirement.
He has chosen The Marah Trust, a Stroud-based charity, as one of his three because of its work with the homeless and marginalized in society. “Ex-servicemen are a disproportionately large part of this group. As a nation we are not good at helping those who have difficulty coping with returning to the mainstream of life.”
Mr Cranston has been training since September going to the Fitness Mill Gym in Thrupp three times a week and climbing in the Lake District and Snowdon. He leaves for Kilimanjaro on January 31.
“As it is my 60th I would like to raise at least £600 for these worthwhile causes,” he said. “I have paid for my trip so that means that every penny I raise will go to charity.”
You can donate online via uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KC2 or by BACS direct transfer to Ac No 51009360 Sort Code 30-98-29 or send a cheque payable to “KC2”, C/o Berkeley House, Paganhill Lane, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 4JJ.