Children with their Everest mural created for Karen Mackay and Yvonne Smillie

Staff and children at a Burntwood nursery have gathered to give a big send off to two members of the team who are heading for Everest Base Camp.

Staff and children at the send off event for Karen Mackay and Yvonne Smillie

Karen Mackay, head of external affairs at Busy Bees, and Yvonne Smillie, deputy chief academic officer, are taking on the challenge to raise money for Child Bereavement UK.

The duo’s trek which will take 12 days and nights to complete. The challenge will see the pair face tough conditions including 60 percent less oxygen than at sea level and potential sub-zero temperatures.

Children with their Everest mural created for Karen Mackay and Yvonne Smillie

Their climb will begin on 12th April and to mark their departure, youngsters at the nursery created an Everest mural and performed a song for them,

Karen, who has just been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list for services to children and families, said: “Child Bereavement UK is such a great cause that it’s made all the training worthwhile and now we’re raring to go.

“We’re incredibly thankful for all the support we’ve received from everyone, and for their help in smashing our fundraising goal of £5,000.”

People can donate to the cause via an online fundraising page.

Nursery manager Jess Sandall said: “The children are so excited that Karen and Yvonne will actually be on Mount Everest and have been practicing their singing for weeks.

“From everyone at Busy Bees, we wish them all the best of luck and a safe journey.”

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.