An Oldham man has challenged himself to climb 14 of the highest mountains in the world in the coming 18 months all in aid of charity.

Akke Rahman, 41, is the brand ambassador for UK Islamic Mission (UKIM), and is planning the gruelling mission to climb 14 mountains all 8,000 metres or higher.

He scaled Mount Everest two years ago, in a first for a British Muslim. The father-of-three says that he doesn’t want to 'take the credit' for his achievements.

“I am inspiring a lot of people and I am proud that through my climbing I have helped raise a lot of money for a lot of poor people. It is a privilege to be a Muslim pioneer in mountaineering.”

He has raised over £500,000 by climbing Mt Everest, Mt Elbrus and Kanchenjunga and others.

He said: “Growing up in Oldham was tough at times but my parents made it easy for me.

“I was always sporty and popular throughout my school years. “I had a lot of friends and family around me,” he says.

He was born in Bangladesh but came to the UK aged one. His father came to the UK in the 1950's.

He used to work in an office and felt like he was “wilting away” and decided there was more to life. "I thought I need to do something to become somebody in order to inspire my children.

"I was very athletic growing up – I loved football and could run 100 metres in 11.5 seconds and I was also the triple jump champion of Greater Manchester at the age of 14. So I decided to try mountaineering and started to climb mountains.

He adds: "At the time I didn’t dream I could ever climb Mt Everest which I did after two years of climbing experience."

He started off by climbing Mt Elbrus – the highest mountain in Europe which is located in Russia.

He added: "I faced mild racism growing up. For example if I went to a white area I would be chased by dogs so I would never return to the area again.

"I grew up in the 90’s and 2000’s and witnessed the race riots in Oldham. Once, while in college, my car was smashed up by a bunch of white guys. Luckily non of us were hurt. It was a big ordeal."

He recently climbed Mt Kilimanjaro for the second time. He found it to be relatively easy and led a team of four climbers to the peak. He was joined by a dentist and a doctor on the climb.

He plans to go to the North and South poles and climb the seven highest peaks on the seven continents. They won’t be as hard to climb as the 14 peaks. But it is on his bucket list.

He hopes to inspire people to exercise even if it is walking. Climbing has helped him feel fit and healthy, more so than when he was younger.

"Since I have started mountaineering it has become more popular in the British Muslim community mainly in the Pakistani and Indian communities. I wish to inspire more Bangladeshis to get involved in the extreme sport. Mountaineering keeps you fit and healthy not just physically but mentally too. This is what I am trying to promote."

He advises young people to 'go out' and 'stay fit and healthy' and learn by watching videos. It doesn’t cost you anything to climb local mountains.

Asian Image: Akke Rahman, Zubair Hussain, Huzaifa Iqbal, Majid Anwar reached the top of reached the top of Kilimanjaro

Dr Majid Anwar, a member of the expedition said: "We climbed Mt Kilimanjaro to raise money for the children of Gaza. It is our little bit to try to help the starving children there.

"We were led by Akke who is a professional mountaineer. It took us five days to reach the summit of the mountain. It grew progressively harder each day and we eventually reached the top of Kilimanjaro.

"We helped to raise £30,000 for the cause and we are still collecting. The scenery was breathtaking including the crater of the volcano.

He said: "Akke kept everyone's morale up and supported us. We climbed at the same pace. We did struggle, but for Akke it was a stroll in the park.

UKIM is working with its partners on the ground in Gaza. They have been able to get five trucks into Gaza in the last few weeks. They also have more trucks ready to enter the besieged enclave.

UKIM aims to make the life of British people -Muslim and non Muslim - better through education. They have 55 branches throughout the UK. They raise funds for local and international causes.