Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Mayor and local MP Ian Austin annual Ben Nevis charity climb

Climbers from Dudley will be heading to Ben Nevis on August 3rd to climb Ben Nevis and raise funds for local charities.

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The fourth annual Bert Bissell Memorial Climb will be organised and led by Dudley Mayor Dave Tyler, Dudley North MP Ian Austin and former Mayor Councillor Steve Waltho who chairs the memorial society set up to honour the Dudley mountaineer and peace campaigner.

Climbs over the last three years have raised £20,000 for local charities and this year more local people have signed up than ever before to join in.

Other climbers include local councillors Keiran Casey and Shaneila Mughal, Astley Blake who now runs the Bible Class Bert Bissell established, Rachael Taylor who runs the YMCA’s Open Doors project, Mayoral Ambassadors Shaz Saleem and Damian Corfield and local charity campaigner Steve Rayner.

Bert Bissell (1902-1998) was a friend of the Austin family and someone the MP knew well as a child. He lived at Selborne Road and founded the Young Men's Bible Class at Vicar Street in Dudley. He was a probation officer and climbed Ben Nevis on VJ Day in 1945 and many times afterwards, constructing a Peace Cairn at its summit. There is a monument to Bert at Coronation Gardens opposite the Council House.

All funds raised this year will go to the new Mayor’s charities which are mental health charity, Dudley Mind, the YMCA’S Open Doors project which helps homeless young people and Dudley Alzheimer’s Society which supports people with Alzheimer’s.

Dudley Mayor Dave Tyler said:

"I am proud to be part of this ever increasing team of climbers and would urge everyone to support the Bert Bissell legacy and the three wonderful charities."

Ian Austin said:

"I’m delighted that the number of local people taking part in our climb and making a donation is growing every year.

"It just goes to show the enduring legacy of Bert’s work in the community. He was a legendary figure and an inspiration to so many of us. "

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