A team of hikers from homebuilder Vistry Group have raised nearly £9,000 for a charity dedicated to the prevention of suicide among young people and the promotion of positive mental health.
A dozen members of staff from Vistry Southern, which has its regional head office in Basingstoke, took part in the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for Papyrus, which is Vistry’s nominated group charity for 2022.
The Three Peaks is a challenge where people climb the highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales ¬– Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon – one after another within 24 hours.
And the 12 Vistry employees completed all three within the time, setting off for the next location immediately after completing each hike. First on the list was Ben Nevis, then the team headed to Scafell Pike, and finally Snowdon.
Their efforts have so far raised £8,825 for Papyrus, but the team hopes to hit its target of £10,000.
Among the hikers was managing director of Vistry Southern, Dawnet McLaughlin, who joked that if she had taken a closer look at Ben Nevis on Google, she might not have turned up at all, let alone embarked on all three peaks.
But having taken part she said that the experience was ‘brilliant’ and something that she would certainly do again – though she admitted she would do more training next time.
“I am so proud of the whole team and proud of myself,” she said. “They were immense! There were times I was getting dragged up by my rucksack, so thank you to my colleague Wes Shipp for that. At other times I was just following a person’s footsteps in front of me to weave up and down the mountains.”
And what got them through it all, said Dawnet, was laughter. “Laughter can get you through so much,” she said. “I almost felt like it might be possible to pass out from laughing too much.
“As well as that, the team were so inspirational and motivational throughout. We really kept each other going. Sometimes the right words at the right moment were enough to spur us on when it got especially difficult.
“We also got a lot of motivation from the backing of family, friends and colleagues who supported us and helped share our JustGiving page.
“And we didn’t forget the real reason we were doing this challenge. We were inspired by the absolutely vital work of Papyrus, which is our chosen charity this year. Every step of the way was worthwhile to help them in their important mission to reduce the number of young people who take their own lives.
“And we are still keen for more donations to help us reach our target of £10,000 so anyone who would like to add to the fund can do so on our JustGiving page.”
Papyrus (papyrus-uk.org) works to prevent suicide by giving young people and their communities the skills to recognise emotional distress and respond to it. It aims to promote positive mental health and emotional wellbeing and carries out education and training, as well as giving information and advice. The charity also runs a suicide prevention helpline called HopelineUK at 0800 0684141.
Vistry Southern is building new homes under the Linden Homes brand in Hampshire, West Sussex and Wiltshire. For more information, visit lindenhomes.co.uk.
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