By Joshua Robinson –
Last month, Focus-Trust CEO Helen Rowland took on her toughest challenge yet, conquering the three UK peaks in 3 days in memory of her friend’s son, Matthew, who tragically died by suicide in September 2020 aged 17 years.
Having never climbed a mountain until earlier this year, Helen and Matthew’s mum, Jacqui Young, joined an Active Mountaineering guide and six women aged 18-55 to take on the three peaks.
Helen raised over £2.7k for Papyrus, with Jacqui also raising money for My Wellbeing – a charity the family set up in Matthew’s memory.
Papyrus Prevention of Young Suicide is a UK charity committed to preventing youth suicide and promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing in young people.
Despite being August, the group faced some of the toughest conditions their guide had seen in winter months. On 19th August, they endured 70mph gusts and heavy rain to reach the summit of Ben Nevis in Scotland, the UK’s highest mountain at 1345 m.
On 20th August, they reached the summit of Scafell Pike in high winds and heavy mist, England’s highest mountain at 978m.
Having driven through sunshine to Snowdon in Wales, they hoped for a calmer climb as better weather was forecast for 21st August. Unfortunately, the heavy rain arrived as they set up the Miners Track, and 75mph+ gusts and hail made conditions extremely challenging, forcing them to stop and brace several times.
Before they reached the 1085m summit, one experienced group member was blown off her feet, so the guide had to put safety first and return down the mountain.
The Active Mountaineering guide had climbed Snowdon over 350 times, and this was only the third time in eight years he had decided to bring a group down before reaching the summit.
Commenting on the challenge, Helen said: “This was both a mentally and physically challenging endeavour, but both Jacqui and I were determined to achieve this to help Matthew’s family keep his memory alive, raise awareness of suicide and raise valuable funds for Papyrus.”
“We both plan to make the journey back to Snowdon and reach the summit this September or October on a much calmer day to officially complete our challenge. Jacqui has pebbles with Matthew’s initials MY on which she left in the trig points at the top of Ben Nevis and Scafell and we need to leave one on Snowdon’s trig point.”
“I would like to thank everyone who supported me and donated to the fundraiser.”
Focus-Trust is a charitable primary schools trust which is based in the North-West of England and West Yorkshire with a vision of providing ‘great schools at the heart of our communities’ where children thrive, achieve, and succeed.
For more info about Focus-Trust, please visit: https://www.focus-trust.co.uk/
For more info about Papyrus, please visit: https://www.papyrus-uk.org/