A police detective and former First Dates star has scaled Mount Kilimanjaro as part of an incredible fundraising mission in memory of her best friend.

Claire Slater, originally from Radcliffe, embarked on the incredible challenge to raise money for young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer after the disease claimed the life of her best friend Fiona Ellis.

Now, she has triumphantly announced that she has successfully scaled the famous Tanzanian mountain, raising more than £1,700 in the process.

The Bolton News:

Fiona Ellis and Claire Slater

Claire said: “It wasn't easy and I suffered from altitude sickness, I was physically sick a few times but I managed to regain my strength and continue on determined as ever to keep my promise to Fiona.

“Summit day was tough I set off just before midnight and climbed a steep incline for around seven hours in the dark getting to the top just as daylight broke, it was beautiful but also very, very cold!”

The Bolton News:

Claire had to make her way through some extremely cold conditions

Claire, who works as a Blackburn CID detective and will be familiar to viewers of Channel 4’s First Dates from her appearance on the programme in 2015, was diagnosed with cancer herself at the age of 32.

Her and childhood friend Fiona were diagnosed within a few weeks of each other.

Though Claire herself eventually recovered, tragically Fiona died in 2020.

The pair had planned to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the fourth highest mountain in the world, together as soon as they were both well enough and now, Claire has managed to keep her promise and raise money for others who are battling cancer.

The Bolton News:

Claire at the summit 

Her climb was completed just last month and turned out to be an emotional but hugely rewarding experience.

She said said: “I turned to start the walk back and cried my eyes out, exhausted and emotional I wiped the tears and snot away with my mittens, I only realised once I'd got down that I'd rubbed my nose so much that I'd given myself a grazed nose!”

The fundraiser is still open for anyone wishing to donate and can be found by searching for Claire Slater on GoFundMe.