Warners and Handelsbanken unite for Three Peaks Challenge and raise £12,029.27 for West Kent Mind
THE ACHES and pains suffered by a group of 10 walkers from Warners Solicitors and Handelsbanken in Sevenoaks when they tackled the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge seemed like a distant memory this week when they handed over a cheque for £12,029.27 to the local branch of West Kent Mind.
Katie Moss and Emma Crawford, who are part of the community development team from the mental health organisation, accepted the money on behalf of the charity and explained how invaluable the impressive figure was to the Sevenoaks branch.
So, how did the team of 10 walkers and two support drivers celebrate finishing the challenge which involves tackling the UK’s highest mountains of Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales, all in one go?
“We made a dash for the fish and chip shop,” laughed Ellie Norman, a paralegal at Warners who helped organise and drum up support for the challenge. “The mountain climbs and the driving in between were completed in just over 24 hours but the whole challenge from start to finish was about 36 hours which meant we were starving by the end,” she added.
Her colleague, private client solicitor Richard Theobald, who also helped organise the team, said: “I did remember to pack a couple of bottles of champagne, so we were able to toast our success with our chips.”
The team, who ages ranged from early 20s to 50s, set themselves an ambitious target to raise £10,000 for West Kent Mind, but online and direct donations saw this figure rise to more than £12,000.
Ellie said: “Warners are always keen to be part of the community and this is why we chose to raise funds for a local mental health charity. We set ourselves a high target and managed to exceed it which is really good news.”
The Three Peaks Challenge has become a popular way for people to raise charity funds, but if you think this is just a ‘walk in the park’, think again. Participants have to walk and climb a total distance of 23 miles (37km) and a total ascent and descent of 3,064m (10,052ft) with a significant proportion of the challenge being carried out during the hours of darkness.
The Warners and Handelsbanken team met at 6am on a Friday earlier this year at Sevenoaks Prep School which had kindly loaned the team one of their minibuses for the challenge. “The minibus was virtually brand new and just great fun to drive” commented Katrina Walker, business development manager at Warners, and one of the two support drivers for the challenge.
First stop was Glasgow. The team arrived at 4.30pm and stayed overnight stay to prepare for the start of the challenge the following day. Saturday morning, saw the final run up to Ben Nevis and the team started the first climb at 3.30pm, completing the first stage in five and a half hours.
Richard recalled: “The top of Ben Nevis was in cloud, so we couldn’t see where we were going, and the wind was horrendous. When we got down, we drove straight to Scafell Pike and started climbing again at 3.30am.”
Unfortunately, the traffic between Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike wasn’t great with night closures and road works, so the team lost precious time. Scafell Pike took four hours to complete and then the team headed for Snowdon.
Ellie reflected: “We tried to get some sleep on the minibus but really all you could do was doze. I found myself starting to lose track of what day it was! I worked out that by the end we hadn’t been to bed for 36 hours.”
The team started their last climb on Snowdon in the early afternoon on Sunday, finishing at 8.30pm, then there was then a mad dash for the chip shop before it closed. Finally, the team made a two-hour drive to Oswestry for a well-earned sleep before heading for home again on Monday morning
Ellie said: “There were a few bad blisters and plenty of aching muscles but fortunately no major injuries. I have helped organise and taken part in two charity fund raising challenges at Warners now and after each one I say ‘never again’. But who knows? Maybe we’ll be looking for a new challenge next year.”
Katrina added: “The team were absolute stars from start to finish. It’s a tough challenge and not one for the faint hearted. Smashing our target was just the best. Well done guys.”
Elizabeth Dolding, Commercial Property Partner, Warners
Charles Tennant, Family Partner, Warners
Richard Theobald, Private Client Solicitor, Warners
Jessica Moseley, Private Client Solicitor, Warners
Melanie Davis, Legal Secretary, Warners
Ellie Norman, Paralegal, Warners
Connor Iontton, Trainee Solicitor, Warners
Sean Dowling, Trainee Solicitor, Warners
Katrina Walker, Business Development Manager, Warners (support driver)
Richard Savage (support driver)
Chris Jeffrey, Individual Banking Manager, Handelsbanken
Clive Palmer, Individual Banking Manager, Handelsbanken