A STUDENT from Halesowen has climbed the world's highest free-standing mountain as part of a fundraising challenge.

Emma Fogarty, aged 19, raised £3,048.41 for the Meningitis Research Foundation by conquering Mount Kilimanjaro last month.

The second year biochemistry student at the University of Southampton took on the "tough challenge" with 21 other university students.

Emma, who grew up in Halesowen and attended Howley Grange Primary School before going on to Earls High School, said "excitement and nerves" surrounded the group ahead of the challenge and it took until 10pm on day four before the group started the climb to the summit.

"We were faced with darkness, -20 ̊C winds and altitude sickness," she said.

"The climb was challenging as we were falling asleep on our poles but this was what we all aimed towards.

"One foot in front of the other, we managed to get the Stella Point at 4.30am the next day.

"We had roughly another two hours to reach Uhuru Peak - the roof of Africa.

"We battled through the ice and snow past the glaciers to stand on the highest free standing mountain."

Emma added: "We accomplished a tough challenge with the help of the guides, porters and working as a team.

"I would just like to thank everyone who contributed. "Together we have made change and helped those with meningitis, their families and helped the research to eliminate meningitis."