Charity fundraisers from Halifax raise thousands for Nick Smith Foundation with epic challenge

Over £19,000 has been raised for The Nick Smith Foundation by a group of charity fundraisers who took on the Yorkshire Three Peaks three times in three days, including six peaks back-to-back through the night.

By Tom Scargill
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 5:00 pm
Fundraisers during the Triple Peak Challenge
Fundraisers during the Triple Peak Challenge

Sixteen fundraisers set off from Horton-in-Ribblesdale on Friday, April 29 at 8pm and walked up and down Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghen through the night before setting off again after a short break to aim to complete six peaks within an incredible 17 hours.

Throughout the 50-mile hike the team also carried a 25kg dummy to add extra pressure to an already epic challenge.

After a rest on Saturday night, they took on the 25-mile three peak route one final time on Sunday, this time accompanied by junior players from Siddal RLFC.

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Fundraisers during the Triple Peak Challenge

The Triple Peak Challenge team was Nicky Akroyd, George Ambler, Olie Bakes, Gareth Blackburn, Mark Boothroyd, Luke Garnett, James Grant, Liam Green, Ben Jackson, Dan Keane, Luke Keleher, Dom O’Keefe, Steve Ridley, Martin Scrimshaw, Laura Spencer and Joe White supported by Johnny Lawless.

Most of the group was from Halifax and has connections to Siddal RLFC, who Nick Smith used to play for.

"We had five who didn't complete out of 16 so that's how challenging it was," said Ben Jackson, a former Royal Marine who lives in Copley.

"We're not athletes, we're just average guys and girls, we just wanted to raise money and make it as challenging as we could.

Fundraisers during the Triple Peak Challenge

"It was probably one of the toughest things I've done and probably for a lot of the team, the toughest thing they've done.

"Last year me and Martin Scrimshaw were talking about doing something to raise money for the foundation.

"Jonny Lawless set up a tournament at Siddal for under 7s which the foundation funded, all the teams got a bag of balls, like a start-up pack, which was good.

"We did the triple peak challenge last year and raised £20,000, which paid for a nurse and councillors to care for a family that's been affected by Motor Neurone Disease, which the NHS didn't fund.

Fundraisers during the Triple Peak Challenge

"But the NHS fund that now, which is great.

"We're up to £19,000, with a target of £20,000, to hopefully pay for something along those lines again."

Stephen Naylor, Chair of The Nick Smith Foundation, said: “What this group have put themselves through for others is incredible. I know this has been the toughest challenge of their lives, but the amazing amount of money it has raised will help in the fight against the cruellest of diseases, MND, and the families of those devastated by a diagnosis. We can’t thank them enough for what they have done and I hope people keep supporting their efforts because every penny counts.”

Donations can still be made at www.triplepeakchallenge.co.uk.

Fundraisers during the Triple Peak Challenge