A father of two is gearing up to climb the highest mountain in the world to raise money for a school for children with special needs.

Chris Atkinson, 35, of Devon Close, Buckhurst Hill, is going to climb Mountain Kilimanjaro in Tanzania next month so Brookfield House in Alders Avenue, Woodford Green can open a sensory room.

Mr Atkinson's neice, five-year-old Olivia attends the school and she is his inspiration for the challenge.

He said: "I just want to help the children at the school.

"The sensory room will give them a better life and a little bit more enjoyment."

Mr Atkinson has been training for the last nine months in preperation for the climb which will take him seven days to go up the 19,341ft mountain and a day to descend.

His training has included 20 mile hikes and cycling in his living room using a snorkel to adjust his breathing techniques ready for the change in altitude.

He added: "I am so excited about the challenge, the only thing on my mind at the moment is raising the money to help the school.

"It is going to be a great experience for me."

So far Mr Atkinson has raised just under £8,500 for the sensory room, which is estimated to cost £18,000.

The sensory room will be used by children with a varying range of disabilities and will give them a place to relax and provide important stimulation through lights and music.

The school held a Christmas Fete in December which helped bring the total amount of money raised to date to £11,000.

To donate to Mr Atkinson visit www.justgiving.com/christopher-atkinson.