Jade takes on the mighty Three Peaks Challenge

We are always thrilled when people decide to hold a fundraising event or take on a fundraising activity to raise money for our charity. In August 2022, Jade took on the mighty Three Peaks Challenge in aid of The Benjamin Foundation. This saw her scale Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden in the space of just 48 hours. We spoke to Jade once her challenge was complete and when her fundraising had almost reached an amazing £1,000 to hear more about her epic adventure!

“I started thinking about taking on a challenge during Covid, when we were restricted and indoors for so long.” Jade explains. “I decided once things opened up, I was going to do everything and explore as much of the UK as possible and really make the most of it by raising money for a good cause.

I used to volunteer with a charity that supported homeless people, and I really enjoyed doing this. I had heard about the work of The Benjamin Foundation and I knew they helped young people with accommodation and support in times of need. I also knew that I wanted to support a local charity so I really felt like I could help – it’s such a worthy cause.

I prepared for The Three Peaks challenge by working out in the gym and doing spinning classes. I spoke with Joshua, The Benjamin Foundation’s Fundraising Officer who had previously completed the Three Peaks himself. He was really helpful and offered lots of tips, such as gradually building up my stamina – so I made sure that I walked and ran every day. Even with this, I still felt like I hadn’t prepared enough especially as incline training is hard to do in Norfolk!

I used JustGiving for my fundraising and set up an online donation page so I could share the link on social media and send the link around to friends and family to sponsor me. I also did bake sales and car boot sales to boost the money raised. With the current climate, it helped to be a little bit inventive with my fundraising.

When the challenge came around, I flew up to Glasgow on the Friday, ready to climb Ben Nevis on Saturday. The weather was terrible and our Challenge Guides were initially concerned as there was a lot of wind and rain, however we were able to proceed. Halfway up I thought ‘What have I done?!’ It was actually only about 4 miles to the top but the incline made it feel like a never-ending mountain! It was wet, slippery (I fell over four times!) but it felt really good when we were one of the first groups to reach the top.

We started climbing Scafell Pike in the Lake District at dusk. It was a fast pace and the weather still wasn’t great. We had the added challenge of climbing in the dark with just a head torch, which was a little scary and I had a bit of a mental wobble. We made sure we made the descent slowly and safely!

After driving through the night and getting a little sleep on the bus, we started the ascent of Mount Snowden at around 6am. It was actually a nice, scenic route with amazing views and better weather. It was steep in places and I had to pull myself up but this was my favourite climb and I was telling myself that it was the last one and I could do it! Even though I had achy legs and limited sleep I was sure I could push through!

Once the challenge was complete, I felt really emotional. I knew I could do it but it was about mentally pushing through the barriers.

The Benjamin Foundation have been really helpful and I’ve been well supported. Joshua checked in regularly and his guidance and tips have been useful. I am glad to have raised so much money and I feel so proud. The sense of achievement is great!”

Thank you to Jade for sharing her fundraising story and taking on the Three Peaks to support The Benjamin Foundation. We are incredibly grateful for everything she has achieved. If you would like to sponsor Jade and help her to boost her fundraising even further, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jade-gardiner4

Is there a challenge you have always wanted to complete, or has Jade inspired you to take on new experiences or reach new heights? Contact Joshua Antcliff, Fundraising Officer on [email protected] to discuss opportunities to support our charity.

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A young person we look after in one of our accommodation centres

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