A TEAM of charity trekkers is celebrating raising £25,000 in memory of a Dorchester musician.

The group of 13 tackled Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest peak, in aid of the Steve Charles Help a Friend Fund.

Friends and family were invited to a presentation evening at the Durnovaria Wine Bar where the team handed over the cheque to charity chairman Ben King.

Jack Daniels, a close friend of Mr Charles, said the amount raised was 'phenomenal'.

He added: “It's been a hard year. Nobody's got any money at the moment but everyone's generosity has just been incredible.”

At the event the team members enjoyed a glass of champagne to mark their achievement and photos from the trip were displayed.

Town crier Alistair Chisholm read a poem written for the occasion and Dorchester Mayor, Councillor Stella Jones also attended.

When they reached the summit the team flew the Dorset flag.

Mr King said: “I can't thank them enough for everything they have done for the charity.

“They could not have raised this amount of money without the help of everyone here.”

Coun Jones added: “I think for people who have never done anything like this before to climb to the top and raise so much money for a great charity is just really wonderful.

“Congratulations to you all.”

The charity began in order to fund private treatment as a final attempt to cure Mr Charles of his throat cancer.

Sadly the operation was not successful but the fundraising continues in his memory to help others afford their own life saving treatment.

Mr Daniels, who has never climbed a mountain before, said the challenge had been 'tough'.

He said: “Donna unfortunately had to stay at base camp as she was hit with altitude sickness but everyone else got to the summit.

“We were exhausted. Our guides woke us up at 11.30pm to start walking so we could be at the top for sunrise.

“On top of that when we started walking we were almost complete strangers. I was the only person who knew everyone, but we really had become a team by the end.”

He added: “We began with the goal of raising £500 each, so a total of £7,500.