Lead Articles

UoN Students Heading for Mount Kilimanjaro Left Stranded at Gatwick after Travel Firm Collapses

Dozens of students from the University of Nottingham (UoN) planning to fly to Tanzania and climb Mount Kilimanjaro were left stranded at Gatwick Airport yesterday after the company that organised the trip went into administration.

Up to 40 Nottingham students were due to take part in the Kilimanjaro Summit Trek, organised by the company, GBCE Limited, trading as ‘Student Adventures’.

Impact understands that the students affected were not notified that the company had ceased trading, until they had arrived at Gatwick.

“I am absolutely devastated that after 9 months of preparation, training and fundraising and what has been a dream of mine for many years has all been thrown away and I haven’t been able to even come close to reaching the mountain.”

In an email sent out by Student Adventures, the company informed students that it would “be unable to provide any services for you as a customer of ours whilst you are in-country in Tanzania.

“However you should be aware that your return flights are paid for and if you wish to you could use these flights to travel to Tanzania.”

Nick Robinson, a first year Geography student, told Impact: “All I can say really is that I am absolutely devastated that after 9 months of preparation, training and fundraising and what has been a dream of mine for many years has all been thrown away and I haven’t been able to even come close to reaching the mountain.”

“The company had paid for our outbound and return flights but everything had been ‘reserved’ but not paid for, so we had nothing. I rang Student Adventures at 1pm and everything seemed fine.”

First year Biology student, Jake Hammond, commented: “The company had paid for our outbound and return flights but everything had been ‘reserved’ but not paid for, so we had nothing. I rang Student Adventures at 1pm and everything seemed fine.

“It took 5 hours to get to Gatwick and literally as soon as stepped off the train I got the email saying they’d gone bust.

“We’ll get most of it back money wise one way or another, but on trips like this there’s so many other cost running in to the hundreds if not thousands that I doubt we’ll get back on things like kit, medication, visas and travel costs to get all this stuff, not to mention the travel costs of getting to all the cities we fundraised at.”

Students who spoke to Impact, confirmed that a member of staff from the charity, Meningitis Research Foundation, had travelled to Gatwick to support to those due to fly out, with one student commenting that the charity had been “fantastic.”

Students who spoke to Impact, confirmed that a member of staff from the charity, the Meningitis Research Foundation, had travelled to Gatwick to support to those due to fly out, with one student commenting that the charity had been “fantastic.”

Reacting to the development, the University of Nottingham Students’ Union (UoNSU), said: “We are advised that charity money is protected and individual charities are looking at how they will deal with this and will put out a statement to confirm when they have more information.

“We are advising any University of Nottingham students NOT to travel.”

Hundreds of students are scheduled to travel to Africa with GBCE next month, with universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham and Warwick due to send teams on challenges in aid of various charities, including the Meningitis Research Foundation.

Jacob Bentley

Additional Reporting by Beth Rowland

Image: David Thomas via Flickr

Follow Impact News on Twitter and Facebook

Categories
Lead ArticlesNews

Leave a Reply