THE president of a Barrhead company has reached new heights after conquering Mount Kilimanjaro in a mammoth charity trek.

Jacqueline Dobson, who heads up Barrhead Travel, swapped her day job for hiking boots as she embarked on an expedition to the top of the world’s highest freestanding mountain.

And, in the process, the adventurous businesswoman raised an impressive total of £5,000 for two worthy causes – Planeterra Foundation and ABTA Lifeline.

Planterra Foundation aims to transform travel experiences through local impact by helping communities earn a sustainable living through tourism, while ABTA Lifeline supports travel industry employees who are in need of financial grants in times of hardship.

Jacqueline said the eight-day trek was one of the most challenging experiences of her life.

She told the Barrhead News: “Climbing up Kilimanjaro was one of the hardest things I have ever done, physically and mentally.

“Despite the challenging conditions, the support and service we received from the G-Adventures team who accompanied us was outstanding. We couldn’t have done it without them.

“We were able to appreciate first-hand the work Planeterra Foundation do in communities such as Tanzania.

“Every year, I set a goal to try and push myself to the limit and raise money for a charity that’s close to my heart. I’ve had an overwhelming amount of support from my colleagues in Barrhead Travel and the wider business community.

“I’ve raised more than £5,000 and every single penny will go to an extremely worthy cause.”

Each year, around 30,000 people visit Mount Kilimanjaro but fewer than 60 per cent of climbers reach the summit, which is at a height of almost 20,000 feet.

Barrhead Travel was launched by businessman Bill Munro back in the mid-1970s.

He started the firm with one store in Barrhead and just four members of staff but it quickly grew to become one of the main players in the UK’s travel industry.