Pupils and staff at Springfield Junior School climb height of Mount Kilimanjaro to support youngster with meningitis

Xanthe Carter with her mother Jessica and brother Milo.

Xanthe Carter with her mother Jessica and brother Milo. - Credit: Archant

A school community has taken steps to support a young Suffolk girl who is learning to cope with the devastating effects of her illness.

All of the children and staff from Springfield Junior School in Ipswich helped to collectively climb the distance of Mount Kilimanjaro yesterday, using climbing frames, ladders and benches in the school hall.

Their efforts brought in almost £600 in donations which will go to nine-year-old Xanthe Carter, who contracted pneumococcal meningitis at just nine months old.

Xanthe suffered a major stroke as a result of her diagnosis which left her in intensive care on a life support machine.

With the encouragement from parents Hugo and Jessie, the youngster is beginning to rebuild her life, slowly learning how to walk and communicate, but the family need additional funds to continue Xanthe’s developments.

The inspiration for the school’s charity climb came from Louise Lidstone, a former teacher at Springfield Junior School, who will be climbing the actual mountain at the end of March to raise cash for Xanthe, who she taught at Hintlesham and Chattisham Primary School.

Yesterday every one of Springfield’s 345 pupils did 50 step-ups on different pieces of equipment to help the school climb 19,341ft - the height of Kilimanjaro.

Most Read

Assistant headteacher, Kim Jervis, said: “The children have loved it and Xanthe came down and met the pupils, it was nice for them to see her and all the teachers joined in the climb as well.”

Xanthe’s mother, Jessie, visited the school at the beginning of the month to explain her daughter’s condition and how the money raised would be used to make her life easier.

She said: “ I am overwhelmed by the kindness and support our family has been shown by the children and staff at Springfield Junior School.

“The money raised will enable Xanthe to do the things she loves the most such as swimming and lead as normal a life as is possible.”

To donate money for Xanthe’s care, visit: www.justgiving.com/xanthecarter