BAD weather forced the team from Garenne Group to abandon its 24 Peaks Challenge last weekend.
The 14 strong team from Guernsey and Jersey aimed to climb 24 peaks in the Lake District, each over 2,400 feet, within the 24 hour time limit to raise money for the Guernsey and Jersey Cheshire Homes. The challenge, which includes the well-known peaks of Red Pike, Scafell Pike and Helvellyn, is regarded as one of the most demanding endurance events available as a charity challenge.
‘I don’t think any of us really appreciated what the weekend had in store for us but we had all done plenty of training and so we were as prepared as we could have been. We knew it was going to be tough but the fact that we had already raised more £10,000 for the Guernsey and Jersey Cheshire Homes was a huge incentive for us,’ said Garenne Group chief executive officer Andy Hall, who travelled with the team as support.
Day one saw the team complete13 peaks, one more than they had originally planned, and climb a total of more than 10,000 feet in less than 12 hours. On the Saturday night, the team was warned that the weather forecast looked uncertain for the next day’s climbs.
‘On Sunday morning, we were all ready to go when the guides informed us that the 70mph winds, heavy rain and low visibility meant it was too dangerous for the challenge to continue. We were keen to at least try and complete the miles and so hiked for another four hours lower down but eventually had to accept that the weather was against us,’ said Mark Palfrey, joint managing director of RG Falla, who was part of the team.
‘Obviously we were disappointed not to have completed the challenge but the decision was out of our hands and the organisers had to put safety first. We are now looking at what else we could do to try and reach our fundraising total of £24,024 as we want to do all we can to raise the money we said we would for two very deserving charities.’
The team, which was made up of John Waterman, Russell Bailey, Danielle Hanley, Paul Salazar, James Travers, David Stuart, Richard Kalvis, Richard Breban, Deb Thompson, Nathan Crabb, Richard Moore, Adam Dorey and Monika Markowska, visited Guernsey Cheshire Home before they flew to the UK.
‘It was a privilege for us to meet the residents and staff at Guernsey Cheshire Home. The Cheshire Homes in both islands are superb organisations that provide a unique and invaluable service to islanders. We are very fortunate that we have these facilities to support families at a time when they need it the most. It was also very inspiring for us to gain a better understanding of the challenge the management teams constantly face in raising the money need to cover the running costs,’ said Mr Hall.
All of the money raised will be split between the Guernsey and Jersey Cheshire Homes, which provide care for people with serious physical disabilities in as close to a family atmosphere as possible. The charities provide support for adults living with disabilities such as multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, stroke and spinal injury and provides them with the right to live a life of their choosing. The Cheshire Homes in both islands also offer a very important lifeline for disabled people who require day care or short stay care and provides a respite for those who care for them.
The Guernsey Cheshire Home requires £1m. a year to provide the care it does and in Jersey the running costs are between £4. and £5m. Neither facility receives direct funding from the States of Guernsey or States of Jersey of from the Leonard Cheshire Disability. Although in Jersey, there is a charge for services, both homes rely heavily on the generosity of islands to raise the money needed each year.
Anyone wanting to sponsor the team can go to www.justgiving.com/garenne24peak or send a cheque made out to Garenne Construction Ltd and posted to Garenne House, Rue de la Cache, St Sampson’s, GY2 4AF. Further information on the challenge can be found at www.garenne.gg/24peak