Staff members at a national learning disability charity are pushing themselves to the limit as they prepare to climb the three highest mountains in Britain in just two days.

The seven-strong team, who all work at Hft services in Bradford, will be climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon in the space of 36 hours between 4 and 5 August. Facing a combined 10,000 foot ascent, 23 miles of walking and nearly 500 miles of driving, the group are raising vital funds that will support people with learning disabilities to live the best life possible.

Inspiration for the Three Peaks Challenge struck when looking for a team building exercise that would raise money for local people supported by the charity early last year. The group of area managers and hub leaders decided to take on a trial run of the challenge, and climbed all three mountains individually over the course of four months last year. They planned to reach new heights by tackling the trio in one go in April, but had to postpone due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo taken before the coronavirus outbreak

Despite the unprecedented circumstances, the team have been keeping their training up during lockdown by taking regular walks and using fitness equipment at home, and have stayed in touch using virtual meetings. Their trek will begin with a 4,000 foot climb up to the summit of Ben Nevis in Scotland, the UK’s tallest mountain. With little time to rest, the following day will see them face Scafell Pike, which involves steep hikes and breathtaking scenery. They will then travel west, where they finish their challenge with a six hour climb up and down Mount Snowdon. Over the course of the two days, the group will spend over 20 hours trekking through some of the UK’s most difficult terrain.

Hoping to raise £5,000, the charity staff are taking on the challenge in aid of Hft Bradford, which supports over 700 people. Services range from supporting people to find a job to a specialist autism service and The Learning Zone, a creative and vocational learning centre offering classes and activities including a beauty salon where people can work towards a qualification.

Ryan Trueman, Area Manager at Hft, said:

“We’re really looking forward to tackling this challenge to raise funds for a cause close to all of our hearts. Although it’s sure to be a physically demanding, we’re feeling confident, despite some of us having a fear of heights! Our trial run has helped to boost our fitness and having to postpone the challenge due to the pandemic has made us even more determined to succeed for the people we support. We’ll be thrilled when we can tick this challenge off our bucket lists.  

“Most importantly, we’ll be raising money that will go towards supporting people with learning disabilities in all aspects of their lives – from supporting people to gain employment experience to installing a new sensory room at one of our services. The people we support are already excited for our adventure, and we’ve decided to film the challenge to share with them when we’re back in Bradford.”

Hft currently supports more than 2,500 people with learning disabilities across the country. This includes supporting people with learning disabilities to live independently in their own homes, providing employment services to help people develop skills and experience for work and helping people to pursue hobbies, make new friends and get involved in their local communities.

To donate, visit the group’s fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ryan-trueman1

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About Hft

Hft is a national charity supporting more than 2,500 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Established in 1962, the charity uses its own unique Fusion Model to consistently deliver high quality, person-centred support across all its services.

Services range from supported living to residential care – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.

For more information about Hft, please visit www.hft.org.uk

Information about learning disabilities

A learning disability can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and is defined as having a reduced ability to:

  • Understand new or complex information
  • Learn new skills
  • Live independently

For more information about learning disabilities, please visit www.hft.org.uk/resources-and-guidance