A LOCAL couple could come face-to-face with venomous snakes, including King Cobras and pit vipers, when they take on a gruelling charity challenge.

Cressida and Jonathan Tomlinson, 52 and 56, from Tollerton, are gearing up for the trip of a lifetime to raise £5,000 for Cancer Research UK.

They will tackle the Dalai Lama Himalayan Trek in October, which involves trekking for six hours every day, reaching an altitude of more than 3,000 metres above sea level.

The trek through the foothills of the Himalayas, where temperatures plummet to zero degrees at night, will see them walking in remote areas that are home to wild elephants, tigers, leopards and four of the world’s most venomous snakes – not to mention lots of leeches.

They were inspired by Cressida’s sister, April Claire McGilligan, who is enduring cancer for the third time and has just embarked on another course of chemotherapy. Cressida said: “We also have friends and other family members who continue to suffer from cancer and we have sadly lost a number of people to this dreadful disease.”

Given the potentially dangerous wildlife they could face on their trek, Cressida said that her real nemesis was the dug-out toilets: “I wonder what I’ve let myself in for, but it was my idea. We’d rather do this than have a summer holiday – we’ll do that next year.”

Cressida also has fibromyalgia, but is confident she can overcome any issues by building up her training over the next few months, which includes a fundraising walk of the Yorkshire Three Peaks route in July.

Friends and family are also getting in on the act, with fundraising dinners, a raffle and the sisters’ mum, Joan, who is 90 and registered blind, completing a three-hour ‘pianothon’.

Cressida is also organising a cookery book, with recipes from celebrity chefs such as Delia Smith and Jane Asher, alongside those of local chefs, which she hopes to promote with help from the Friarage’s cancer unit, where April is undergoing treatment.

l To donate go to justgiving.com/fundraising/cressidaandjonathan-tomlinson

Businesses that want to donate raffle prizes can email cressidatomlinson@yahoo.co.uk