A South Tyneside man donned his walking boots and climbed impressive heights when he scaled the UK’s three highest peaks to raise money for the Railway Children Charity – a national charity that fights for children living on the street.
Sixteen First TransPennine Express (FTPE) colleagues, including Jason Rice, from Hebburn, swapped their office attire for climbing gear and joined 40 other teams to successfully scale Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden in just over 36 hours, travelling between the hills on a special charter train service, which was supplied by companies across the rail industry.
The challenge is estimated to be the equivalent of running three half-marathons or walking one third of the way up Mount Everest.
The dedicated teams collectively raised over £27,000 alongside other fundraising activities such as auctions, raffles, station collections and sponsorship.
This amount means FTPE retained the Top Fundraising Team trophy.
All the money raised will directly help vulnerable children living homeless and abandoned on the streets.
Jason said: “I would be lying if I didn’t say this was a challenge – but the encouragement amongst the participants was overwhelming and we helped each other every step of the way. It was a great experience.”
Having completed the challenge in 2005, duty control manager at FTPE, Tim Brawn, has helped manage the event since.
“This year I completed my twelfth Three Peaks by Rail adventure and traditionally on the return journey I vowed it would be my last,” he said.
“However, the pride, team dedication and morale meant I will no doubt register to take part again. FTPE’s record-breaking fundraising is testament to the dedicated employees and is one of the things that still makes me smile in this turbulent world.”
After months of training and battling against aches and pains along the route, all participants celebrated in style and were treated to a celebratory meal on the return train journey.
The committed team that took part from FTPE were Martyn Hughes, Nick Donovan, John Quinn, Simon Taylor, Steven Brennan, Tom Davidson, Jason Rice, David Bolton, Michael Donald, David Lewarne, Jed Lyne, Dave Beilby, Jo Ronson, Tony Miles, Katherine Griffiths, Andy Steele, Tim Brawn and Steve Whitehead.
For more information on the event and the work of the charity see railwaychildren.org.uk.
The event is also scheduled to take place once again in June 2016.