A band of intrepid fund raisers had to race up one of Britain’s highest peaks in 40 mile per hour winds and driving rain, after traffic delays threatened to undermine their charity climb.
The five work colleagues had just two and a half hours to reach the summit of Snowdon in order to conquer each of the UK’s three highest mountains within 24 hours.
But by marching – and even running where possible – the Galliford Try team mates met the challenge and made it to the top in just two hours, raising almost £4,000 for mental health charity Mind.
The lads took on the three peaks challenge after their employer signed up to a nationwide initiative to draw attention to stress in the workplace and what can be done to prevent it. Shocked by the horrifying statistic that the biggest killer among men under 50 is suicide, they determined to do their bit for the cause.
Jon Williams, Assistant Site Manager with Galliford Try Partnerships North, who organised the initiative, said: “It was a statistic that shocked us all. We felt that more needed to be done to highlight these issues. I’ve heard depression described in many ways – including ‘like climbing a mountain’ – so the idea of taking on the highest peaks to raise money in support of mental healthcare seemed to resonate. I thought it would be a good way to raise awareness of the internal struggle that many people are faced with every day.”
Joining him on the adventure were colleagues Omar Sharif, Chris Jamieson, Alex Musgrave, Jake Robson Dave Brown and Sean Nugent.
Describing the trip, Jon added: “Spirits where high after conquering the biggest mountain of the three – Ben Nevis in Scotland – in less than five hours. We then had to try and sleep on a mini bus to rest and recuperate for Scafell Pike, in Cumbria at dawn. However, getting out the minibus at 04:30 in damp kit and poor light was particularly tough and we veered off track and found ourselves tackling a grade two rock scramble up to the summit.
“On the final leg to Snowdonia, in Wales, we were unfortunate to encounter numerous road traffic incidents and we had just over two and a half hours of time left when we set off on the climb.
“It was hard judging how much we had left in the tank as a team so each man just had to push himself to his maximum. We even decided to run in sections where the ground suited and we managed the top in an impressive two hours, meaning we conquered The National Three Peaks in 23:36. An achievement we were all proud off.”
With sponsorship still being collected the team hopes to push fundraising to nearer the £5,000 mark. Anyone wanting to donate can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/GT3PEAKS
Sara Holmes, Development Director with the company said: “The team’s efforts are to be commended and considering the traffic and weather problems they encountered, we think they did amazingly well to reach their target within the time.
“As a responsible employer, we are pleased that the awareness initiative struck such a chord with staff. However, to have inspired them to give up their time and make such an effort to fundraise for the cause is doubly rewarding.”
Karen Bolton, Head of Community and Events Fundraising at Mind, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to the five intrepid Galliford Try employees for taking on such a gruelling challenge in aid of Mind. Scaling the National Three Peaks in under 24 hours is not only a fantastic achievement in itself, it’s also a brilliant way to highlight the positive impact physical activity can have on mental wellbeing and raise awareness about mental health.
“Every penny raised will help us to provide vital support for people with mental health problems, including the Mind Infoline, our advice services and the campaigning Mind does to secure a better deal for the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem every year.”