Welsh storage firm scales Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness of STEM programme

Easystore, a self-storage company based in South Wales, has scaled Mount Kilimanjaro as part of its latest awareness-raising efforts to support its charity of the year Techniquest.

The charity, which is located in Cardiff Bay, is aimed at bringing science, technology, engineering and maths experiences to schools in disadvantaged areas of Wales.

Easystore director Brendan Connies-Laing along with Clare James, the fundraising manager at Techniquest, scaled over 19,000 feet to the summit of the dormant volcano.

It’s acted as a barometer of climate change over the centuries and gives scientists evidence from as far back as 500,000 BP. Today, the effects of climate change are already apparent, with its glaciers shrinking.

Speaking of the climb, Brendan said it was one of the toughest things he’s done in his life: “The climb was incredibly difficult, stretching over six days in tough conditions.

“There is no doubt that it was worth it though, as the site is truly a marvel of nature. Given the steep cost of the trip, rather than fundraise we decided to self-fund and make the focus of the climb about raising awareness of Techniquest and its STEM programmes.”

He added: “The centre does fantastic work to bring these crucial academic subjects to schools across south Wales; we hope that us making the 19,000 foot climb to one of the world’s important scientific sites will help raise awareness of the importance of STEM, and highlight the outreach projects of Techniquest.”

The company announced Techniquest as its charity of the year in February, with both organisations sharing an ethos of promoting STEM to school children and young people.

Lesley Kirkpatrick, CEO of Techniquest, said that she hopes events such as these will help raise awareness of the importance of STEM subjects in education.

“Techniquest’s mission is to embed science in Welsh culture through interactive engagement and we reach thousands of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Cardiff and Bridgend,” she said.

“As automation rises and low-skill jobs begin to disappear, it will be even more important to ensure the next generation is equipped with the tools to tackle the growing economic and environmental challenges we face. Getting children interested in these subjects is the first step in that crucial journey.

“We rely upon Welsh business partners to increase awareness of our work and we’re absolutely thrilled with Easystore’s continued support for Techniquest.

“We are truly privileged to be their charity of the year. I’d like to offer huge congratulations to Brendan and Clare for their fantastic achievement in managing to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro.”