Reaching their Peaks: charity walkers don’t wilt in the heat

NEARLY 90 walkers braved searing temperatures and some of Saddleworth’s toughest terrain to raise money for Oldham-based Mahdlo Youth Zone.

The Three Peaks challenge, a local, shorter twist on national and Yorkshire versions, raised almost £4,000 including £1,200 from an eight-strong team representing North Ainley solicitors.

And the 17-miles trek actually took in four ‘peaks’ as the 85 participants marched up and down ‘Pots and Pans,’ Alderman’s, Lark Hill and Wharmton Hill.

The route was finalised at the last minute due to the moorland fires but the Mahdlo team ensured it would be equally as challenging as 2017.

Other groups and teams taking part included: Diodes, James Scott Accountants plus a group of international students from the USA and Australia who took part during their internships with CRCC Asia.

Walkers were spurred on at checkpoints with refreshments at The Cross Keys and a post-walk barbecue at The Royal George, Greenfield.

Dobcross-based Laura Campbell helped organise the North Ainley team.

“There were a few moments of regret I think with the heatwave but it was really good fun and I’m really pleased with how much we raised,” she said.

“The hardest but was definitely Lark Hill – the bit they call ‘Cardiac Hill’. And we thought Indian’s Head was going to be bad.

“Only one of us is a walker so it was a great achievement and we were rewarded with some stunning scenery.

“There was a fantastic sense of camaraderie and shared purpose amongst the walkers.

“Despite the blisters and sunburn we’re all proud to have taken on the challenge.

“A special mention must be made to Laura Brennan who was first back in just over five hours,” added Laura.

In addition to the team members pictured, the North Ainley group were joined by Alison Winterbottom and Lisa Yates.

Solicitor Jill Gregory was part of the group .

“My son Luke, who is now 19, used to go to Mahdlo and loved it,” she said.

“It enabled him to try different things such as DJ-ing he wouldn’t otherwise have done.

“He also made new friends outside of school that he is still in touch with now.”

Claire Crossfield, Mahdlo’s Fundraising Manager, added: “What an incredible day.

“A huge thanks to everyone who took part, in particular Oldham Mountain Rescue for their support and advice.

“We can’t thank the walkers enough though. They challenged themselves even when it got tough, raising thousands of pounds that will have a direct and positive impact on the young people of Oldham.”

The date for the 2019 walk has been set as July 6. For more information about the Three Peaks of Saddleworth Walk contact the Mahdlo fundraising team on 0161 624 0111.

Opened in 2012, Mahdlo, based in Oldham, is a registered charity and state-of-the-art Youth Zone.

It provides positive activities and practical support for young people aged eight to 19 (25 with disabilities) to come together, learn new skills and address any issues they may face.

Yearly membership is £5 and entrance to each session is 50 pence.

For more information visit their website: www.mahdloyz.org or call Claire Crossfield: 0161 785 3862.

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