The 5 Peaks Challenge was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had

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Jenny Yerrell, one of our Nursing Assistants, was one of 18 trekkers who completed the 5 Peaks Challenge last month to raise money for our hospice. Here she explains why she decided to take part.

“I work on the Inpatient Unit so see firsthand the commitment and dedication that is given to our patients and their families and friends. And one of the reasons that myself and my colleagues are able to provide this level of dedication is due to people in our community fundraising.

Fundraising for our hospice is vital! And as part of the wider team at St Catherine’s I feel I have a responsibility to contribute towards fundraising efforts. Because currently, two out of three local people could be dying without the end of life care they need.

So with that in mind I signed myself up, alongside a team of 17 others, for the St Catherine’s 5 Peaks Challenge! I signed up to reach heights of 3,210ft, to cover 16 miles, And to climb 5 peaks including the highest in England.

With the task ahead, we needed to train! Social media groups were set up so that we could communicate as a team, and some training walks were organised by Fundraising colleagues, whilst others were organised by the group.

During our training we covered hundreds of miles of Sussex and Surrey countryside. And by the time we did our final training walk together, we knew we were ready. Just as importantly we knew that we would support each other in completing the challenge.

The team bond we created throughout our training was amazing and I think I can confidently say others in the team felt the same. We created true friendships which I hope will remain for years to come.

We set off on 21 June in two minibuses and headed to the Lake District. What a journey it was! There was so much laughter, a huge playlist managed by DJ Rose, and top driving by Hannah, Ben (with their two little ones in tow!) and Rose.

When we arrived, we had a de-brief for the following morning from our Trekking Guides. We were then shown to our Bell Tents! If you’ve never slept in one, do it!

We were up bright and early at 6.30am the next morning to head to our start point, Dungeons Ghyll. Taking in the stunning views we ascended to our first peak via the Langdale Valley. We trekked to Russets Peak followed by Allen Crags and Scafell Pike (via boulder fields). That’s where I had my ‘I don’t think I can do this’ moment and I really had to dig deep. But with amazing encouragement from my team and guides, I managed a sheer scramble across boulders to reach the top of Scafell Pike. The Highest peak in England. I was so proud.

After that, back down Scafell we went, across to lll Crag and lastly, to Great End before descending back down through the Langdale Valley. If anyone tells you it’s tougher coming down than going up, take it from me – that’s true!

Throughout the whole challenge, our team were amazing. And every one of us finished the challenge with a smile on our face. Was it tough? Yes. Would we do it again? Yes! And I couldn’t be prouder that between us we’ve raised more than £16,000. Because I know what a difference that will make to the people we care for.

The 5 Peaks Challenge was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had. However its main purpose was about fundraising. To help others. And I feel incredibly proud that the £900 I raised will contribute to make sure that somebody else won’t have to face death and loss alone.”

If you’re inspired by Jenny’s experience, and would like to join us on a future challenge, please click here or or call our Fundraising Team on 01293 447360.