This weekend I completed the greatest physical challenge of my life, all to raise money for the charity founded and run by my family – ATE (Action Through Enterprise). As a founder member, ATE is very close to my heart and I was thrilled to be able to take part in such an exciting fundraising event to support the fantastic work being carried out in Ghana.
I got up at around 5am on Friday morning to get to Cockfosters to meet some of my team mates at 7:30am, we then left in a minibus from Stevenage at 8:30, planning to arrive at Fort William in time for dinner. Unfortunately, the journey took longer than expected, and we arrived at 10pm. It was a long day but we were enthusiastic (and a little daunted!) by what lay ahead of us.
The next morning was a punishing 4am start. Four and a half hours sleep isn’t enough for me at the best of times! We started climbing around 6am, the landscape was stunning and the atmosphere was really positive.
The climb was easy enough to begin with, but got more challenging as we reached the top, where there were several inches of snow! I regretted wearing leggings.
We were delighted to reach the top, proud to have completed Mountain Number One with no issues, and looking forward to tackling the next one!
The journey down to Scafell Pike took longer than expected. During the long drive, we were beginning to worry about the weather forecast, which was looking nastier by the minute. By the time we arrived at the base (around 8:30pm) there were concerns about a ‘torrential storm’ coming in. We were determined to get up the mountain, so headed up as quickly as possible to try to beat the storm. The time pressure made the climb very difficult and some of us were in tears by the time the torrential rain started – we hadn’t been quick enough. When we reached the summit, we were drenched and exhausted. It was pitch black, with rain coming in sideways. I couldn’t see more than two foot ahead, even with my head torch on. We struggled back down the mountain in soaking wet clothes, , the whole group reached the bottom of the mountain at around 2am and we were all looking forward to getting dry, but unfortunately the water container had leaked in the trailer, leaving our spare clothes wet through. This meant a freezing cold, very wet five hour drive to North Wales. The group leader told me later that he thought I had displayed early signs of hypothermia whilst coming down Scafell Pike!
Snowdon was a challenge for everyone. We were sore and exhausted. Unfortunately, various injuries from slipping and sliding down Scafell Pike meant that five of our group were unable to make it up. We hope none of the injures are permanent. Reaching the summit of Mount Snowdon was an exhilarating moment, and getting back to the bottom was cause for great relief and celebration! In total, we had walked 27 miles and ascended 3000 meters. I was so glad it was over!
Our initial fundraising target was £8500, with our aim being to feed 119 school children for an entire year. Due to the amazingly dedicated efforts of our team and the generosity of our sponsors, we have (so far) raised £10392! This incredible amount of money will go a long way to support the inspiring work of ATE.
I am extremely proud to be part of this amazing achievement. As well as helping to change the lives of the children in Ghana, I’ve grown closer to my work colleagues, built relationships with people I had never spoken to before, and pushed myself to the edge of my physical ability. On the whole, this was an incredible experience.
Thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored us. At the darkest, wettest moments of the weekend, knowing that we were receiving such generous support kept me going.
If you haven’t sponsored us yet, you can do so here: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/yougov3peaks/200480