A FUNDRAISING challenge to raise tens of thousands of pounds to fund treatment for a mum battling cancer reaches new heights this weekend.

A 17-strong party will scale Ben Nevis to raise funds for the 'Team Jules' campaign, which has been chosen as the charity that will be supported by this year's annual Bert Bissell Memorial Society pilgrimage.

Julie Garratt-Payne is battling secondary liver cancer, having already overcome breast cancer.

Friends have rallied around the mum-of-four to form 'Team Jules' where they aim to raise £25,000 to fund Selective Internal Radiation Therapy, a rare treatment that is not available on the NHS.

Jules still runs her own fitness classes and it was there that former Dudley Mayoress Jayne Waltho discovered the work of Team Jules, encouraging her husband Councillor Steve Waltho to select the campaign as this year's charity for the annual climb.

Councillor Steve Waltho said: "Jules is an inspiration to so many and has raised large amounts of money for charities herself. She continues to run her beloved exercise classes despite debilitating chemotherapy sessions.

"We leave this week on our sixth annual climb of the highest peak in the UK to celebrate the links that international peace campaigner Bert forged, particularly with Fort William and Ben Nevis which he climbed an incredible 107 times.

"We'll proudly display the 'Team Jules' banner on the summit and appeal for sponsors to come forward as Team Jules needs to raise a lot of money in as short a time as possible."

To make a donation to Team Jules directly, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/fundraising4jules or make a pledge to Councillor Waltho on 07703 308463 who will add your name to his sponsor list.