Team Darwin: Conquering the UK three peaks
SNAP Dad, Paul, and his colleagues at Darwin Recruitment took on the UK Three Peaks Challenge earlier this year for SNAP!
Paul heard about SNAP after his daughter, Marcia was born. “When we had Marcia, we learnt about her disability when she was a baby. Within 10 weeks of her birth they identified an unusual chromosome disorder. Afterwards the doctors recommended a charity called Unique, who signposted us to SNAP”.
Paul and his family came to SNAP for an initial advice session where they asked questions about Marcia’s condition and began learning how best to support her and what the future could hold. Marcia then attended pre-school sessions and Sensorise, a session for children with profound or complex needs. Paul, Marcia and the family have been coming to SNAP for over a decade.
“SNAP has been very personally important to us as a family. Eden, Marcia’s older sister was a Helper at SIBS4FUN this year, a special week dedicated to spoiling the siblings of children with additional needs. Eden said, “SIBS gives us a break from our brothers and sisters and a chance to make new friends. It also gives my sister time with our parents.” When asked about how they found helping out this year, Eden said, “SIBS is really fun and helps people understand each others needs.”
The Darwin Team chose the Three Peaks as a team bonding challenge and a way of giving back after witnessing Paul’s experiences first-hand. The Three Peaks Challenge is not for the faint of heart! Those taking on the challenge must tackle Ben Nevis (Scotland), Snowdon (Wales) and Scafell Pike (England) all in 24 hours.
Paul’s colleague Gabriella said, “There’s a few of us in the office who are always up for a challenge so I felt like it could be a good thing to do and a good way of raising some money for SNAP. Part of the challenge is to complete it within 24 hours but in the end, it was about 28 hours of climbing and driving on repeat with little food or sleep.”
Gabriella told us, “I was actually really anxious before it kicked off, purely because I didn’t know what to expect. I’d done a couple of mountains before, but I didn’t really know how I was going to find doing three back-to-back. The guides were so helpful. To be honest, without them, I just don’t think we would have been able to do it. They were really reassuring and tried to help us out as much as possible.”
“When we would get back on the bus and it’d be alright for a couple of hours and then we would start to seize up and get quite achy, so we were passing around massage guns and Ibuprofen. But the general team spirit really kept everyone going. I think the
hardest mountain, in terms of the tiredness, was Scarfell because we got there at about 9:45pm so we started climbing really late at night and it was about 1am when we got back down to the bottom. Plus that was on top of having started Ben Nevis at 7am.”
“The best bit for me was definitely at the top of each mountain, and then at the bottom once we got back down, it was really euphoric. You felt like you’d really achieved something and at the bottom you were like, “Thank God! I’ve actually done it!” And obviously the end of all three was absolutely brilliant.
“The worst bit was getting to the top of Ben Nevis, it was just impossible! There was snow on the ground and it was so icy so we were all sliding. By that point we’d been climbing for around three hours and then had to basically scramble on ice. It was just
hideous! That was something I wouldn’t want to repeat!”
For Paul, the worst part was that he was only able to complete one of the mountains! His knee gave out on him so he became ‘team encourager’, cheering on the team before they set off for the other two mountains and keeping up morale. Paul said, “I was gutted but we’d done the challenge previously, and completed it, a colleague Sarah had a similar injury to me. It was really good for the rest of the team to have someone to support and raise spirits… so I got to return the favour!”
But the Darwin team’s hard work paid off, raising an incredible £11,955 for SNAP! Thank you so much – you are all awesome!