Hopes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro after raising thousands of pounds for the Meningitis Research Foundation have been dashed for a former Esher College student, after the company organising the climb went into liquidation.

After first finding out that his trip was cancelled on social media sites, Jack Attard, 19, of Candle Mews, East Molesey, is now desperately hoping he will be able to get all of the money back he spent to buy the kit, visas and inoculations - about £1,300.

Mr Attard said: "The highlight we were working towards was to take on the challenge.

"We were going to take on the mountain, it's just a big let down."

Student Adventures, which ceased trading last week, sent an "unprofessional" email to Mr Attard one week before he was due to fly to Tanzania that said: "It is with the greatest regret that we have to inform you that as of Thursday 28th August GBCE Ltd trading as Student Adventures has ceased to trade.

"What this means is that we are unable to provide any services for you as a customer whilst on one of our adventures."

He and 35 others from the University of Birmingham had been fundraising for a year through dinner parties, awareness events and donations from friends and family.

The team had raised a minimum of £2,850 each for their chosen charities and were due to leave yesterday, September 4.

The money raised for the charities has already been donated.

Mr Attard is hopeful another company may take the group on, but at this stage would be happy to get his money back and organise the trip with friends at a later stage.