A COUNTY student has climbed the world's tallest freestanding mountain to raise funds for the same unit that provided high-quality care for her as a premature baby.

Jemima Bright, 21, who is from Sarnesfield and is studying Geography at Oxford Brookes University, flew out to Tanzania at the end of August to begin her six-day climb of Mount Kilimanjaro to fundraise for the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) in Hereford.

Jemima, who was born at 27 weeks weighing 2.2lbs, said: “The whole experience was incredible, I still find it surreal to think I’ve done it.

"The Machame Route was definitely the most scenic with each day being different to the next. From trekking through the rainforest, to the views from Shira Plateau, dining at Lava Tower and then on to scaling the Great Barranco Wall – there was such a contrast in the terrain throughout the ascent it kept things interesting as there was always a new challenge to tackle."

The most difficult part of the trek was the summit, which began in pitch darkness at midnight in order to reach Uhuru Peak at 5,895m for an 8am sunrise.

“Being above the clouds at the top of highest mountain in Africa and seeing the glaciers was an overwhelming experience and there are few words to describe the feeling of standing there," Jemima said, adding that they were only allowed a short time to admire the views as otherwise it would have been almost impossible to shake off the cold and fatigue before descending back to base camp.

Currently Jemima has raised more than £2,100 for SCBU, which is looking to replace the incubators in the intensive therapy unit for extremely premature babies.

All donations made online will be directed exclusively to Hereford SCBU via the Wye Valley NHS Trust Umbrella Charity and help contribute to the purchase of these new incubators.

To make a donation and find out more, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Jemima-Bright