Ashfield teachers tackle charity mountain trek

Staff from Ashfield School after completing their Three Peaks Challenge
Staff from Ashfield School after completing their Three Peaks Challenge

TEACHERS from Ashfield School put their best feet forward in the name of charity by taking on the famous Three Peaks Challenge.

Matthew Hall, head of the school’s Post 16 Centre, organised the fundraising adventure, assembling a team of 10, plus volunteer driver Paul Shields.

The challenge came about after a former student who had been suffering with cancer asked to hold a fancy dress day at school for The Teenage Cancer Trust.

“I went home that night thinking that I was sure we could do something better than a fancy dress day and thought of the idea of completing the Three Peaks Challenge,” he said.

The group set off on 29th August, with an eight hour drive up to Ben Nevis in Scotland.

Matt Watson, head of PE and Performing Arts at the school, said: “At 4:30pm we set off on our ascent of the tallest mountain in Great Britain and although standing at the bottom looking up was overwhelming, the adrenaline kicked in and we started the climb.”

They all made it up to the top and back down, but Scafell Pike proved more difficult after climbing the previous peak.

After very little sleep and in the dark, the group began the ascent of Scafell Pike just before 5am.

Four of the group had to turn back due to fatigue, but the other six powered their way to the top and eventually back down in dense fog - after a total of seven-and-a-quarter hours walking.

Team morale took a hit and energy levels were low but the group decided to power on.

It was 5:20pm when the bus pulled into the car park at the base of Snowden and the team began their ascent at 5:40pm with the last of the 8 team members to complete the climb returning to the bus for 10:10pm.

They recovered from the exhausting event with a good night’s sleep in a Chester hotel.

The efforts of the Ashfield School group meant they raised an impressive £5,000 for The Teenage Cancer Trust and the Alzheimer’s Society.

PE teacher Kris Lockhart said: “I have always wanted to climb the three tallest mountains in Great Britain and to now be able to say I have done it is an amaxing feeling.”