MORE than 10 county aunties are putting their best foot forward to climb the UK's highest mountain for charity.

The 13 participants from around Herefordshire are taking on Ben Nevis – at midnight – on June 20 to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

And with 22 children between them, and dozens of nephews and nieces they do not lack moral support.

Team leader, Fran Smallwood, from Madley, said: “All of us know someone close to us who suffers with this awful disease; we wanted to raise money for research to find a cure.”

Fran saw the Ben Nevis Midnight Challenge online last autumn and called her sisters to ask if they were interested before friends, cousins and aunties joined up too.

Mother and daughter, Helen and Natalie Booth, are taking on the challenge together.

Helen, of RJ Francis Accountants in Hereford, said: “I broke my ankle two years ago and so training has not been easy, but I’m determined to make it up that mountain. I’ve told Natalie she may have to carry me.”

The team – who have named themselves the 'Ben Hillbillies – must raise £5,000 between them to take part and have already banked more than £2,000 through various fundraising activities.

The next event is a "Big Breakfast" at Clehonger Village Hall on April 19, from 8.30am to noon.

Other events planned include a family bingo night on Friday April 25 at Kingstone Village Hall, with doors open at 7pm and eyes down at 8pm.

Local band The Lonesome Stampede is performing at Dorstone Village Hall on Friday May 9 and tickets are available from Faith Barcroft on 07979852110.

The thirteen aunties taking part are Fran Smallwood, Sharon Price, Linzy Parry, Liz Methven, Mary Hayes, Sharon Parry, Georgina Smith, Jodi Ing, Helen and Natalie Booth, Eilis Parry, Faith Barcroft and Louise Wright.

Money can be directly transferred to the Ben Hillbillies' fundraising account. Funds can be transferred to Miss H Booth and the account number is 00440631 and sort code is 11-03-70 or by calling Louise Wright on 0755 3361864.

Any unwanted unwanted birthday, Christmas presents or other unopened gifts can also be donated as prizes by calling Louise.