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Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch "devastated" as knee injury prevents Battle Back charity ascent of Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador

By Lynn Cox

Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch, has tweeted to speak of her devastation at not being able to reach the top of a volcano because of agonising pains in her knees.

The Chatham MP was more than half way through her expedition to climb almost 6,000ft up a volcano in Ecuador, on a fundraising mission. The Conservative member had been raising money for a good cause during the trip and had been joined by six injured soldiers.

Loneliness Minister: Tracey Crouch
Loneliness Minister: Tracey Crouch

They were attempting to conquer Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. However, Miss Crouch tweeted at about 11pm on Sunday she said: “Devastated to have not summitted Cotopaxi due to agonising pain in knees. But huge congrats to @BattleBackCntr’s Paul & Lyndon who did!”

Its not the first time she has suffered a set back while in the South American country.
The day she arrived there she had her purse stole, but despite tweeting to say the incident had ruined the start of her trip, it had not put her off trying to completing her challenge.

She has been tweeting regular updates while trying to complete the challenge.
On Thursday, June 5, she wrote: “Entire team made it up 5100m on Cotopaxi for training. All being well we will attempt to summit tonight.”

Tracey Crouch MP with some of the team fromr The Battle Back Centre
Tracey Crouch MP with some of the team fromr The Battle Back Centre

However, her dream of reaching the top was dashed at the weekend she failed to reach the summit because of the pain she was in.

The challenge was part of the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes Battle Back scheme, which gives soldiers a chance to join the expedition to enhance their recovery and development, as well as raising vital funds for the RBL’s Battle Back centre, an adaptive sports and outdoor facility for injured servicemen and women.

Miss Crouch had been joined on the climb by fellow MPs John Mann (Lab) and Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem). The group are hoping to raise £10,000 for the cause and have already raised more than £3,000.

Tracey Crouch attempted to climb the volcano Cotopaxi i Ecuador
Tracey Crouch attempted to climb the volcano Cotopaxi i Ecuador

In a joint letter from all three MPs, Miss Crouch said: “We are hoping that through this expedition we will highlight the challenges that our brave servicemen and women who have been injured face, particularly the less spoken about mental scars of conflict.

If you haven’t done so already, please help support us and help us to achieve our fundraising target.

“All donations, big or small, are greatly appreciated.”

If you would like to help Miss Crouch boost her fundraising efforts, visit www.justgiving.com/TRBLEcuador2014 alternatively you can text “TRBL93”+ the amount (e.g. £10) to 70070.

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