Friends hit new heights with mountain challenge

Louise Fleming, Stewart Fleming, Emma Clarke, Maz Rocque and Gary Turner
Louise Fleming, Stewart Fleming, Emma Clarke, Maz Rocque and Gary Turner

A group of friends are taking on a mountain challenge in memory of family members.

Louise and Stewart Fleming took part in the Manchester Midnight Walk earlier this year, raising over £2,600 in sponsorship for St Ann’s Hospice for the 10km city centre walk. Now they have signed up for a brand new walking challenge this September.

They will be taking on Snowdon, Wales’ highest mountain, on a nine-mile (14.5km) trek organised by St Ann’s Hospice to raise money to provide care and support for thousands of people with life-limiting illnesses every year.

The couple have also recruited their friends Emma, Gary and Maz to join them for the challenge. The group have many familiar links with St Ann’s.

Stewart’s mum Margaret, from Bredbury, died in the hospice in January and his late grandparents, Kitty and Frank, were also patients at St Ann’s years ago.

In addition, Louise is volunteer manager at St Ann’s where she has worked for the last 12 years and Emma works at the organisation as clinical services secretary. Louise’s mum, Breda Johnson, is one of around 740 hospice volunteers.

Louise said: “From working at St Ann’s I see the amazing work first hand on a daily basis.

“We have a team fundraising target of £1,500, and we hope that our friends and family will help us support that to reach that goal.

“We have a caravan near the Tissington Trail in Ashbourne, so most of our training will be covering distances there along with our two daughters.”

How to get involved

The Team St Ann’s Conquer Snowdon challenge will take place on Saturday, September 28, and organisers are hoping as many people will join them as possible.

Those signing up to take part in the challenge will be guided every step of the way by the St Ann’s fundraising team, and will also receive a fundraising guide full of tips on how to maximise sponsorship and have fun while raising money.

There is a pledged sponsorship target of £300 per person, which when raised could pay for three two-hour specialist rehabilitation sessions to help a hospice patient maximise their mobility and independence.

Challenge participants will also receive training and nutrition advice, transport to the mountain from the hospice and return travel, and will be accompanied on the day by experts from Snowdonia outdoors company, Original Outdoors, who are providing experienced mountain leaders and medics for the challenge.