Peak of achievement for recovery group

A group from our recovery service in Suffolk have taken on the Three Peaks Challenge – attempting to scale the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales – raising £1,000 for charity.

The team from STARS (Suffolk Treatment and Recovery Service), took part in the mammoth hike over 24 hours, hiking up Ben Nevis (1,345 metres), Snowdon (1,085 metres) and Scafell Pike (978 metres).

Covering a total walking distance of 23 miles, it was the culmination of five months’ preparation for the group, who called themselves “The Peaky Blinders”.

The group, Andy May, Darren Moore, Lloyd Williams, Yvonne Bloomfield and Oliver King, were supported by Notting Hill Genesis’ lead project worker Bruce Wright.

Bruce said: “We woke up early and travelled to Scotland first to take on the gigantic Ben Nevis, with our guide saying that no matter what happens in the rest of the challenge, we should all attempt to climb Ben Nevis together.

“It was cold, wet and arduous and we had to band together and encourage each other to reach the summit, which took three and a half hours. Coming down was just as tough, with a lot of pressure on the knees and slippery rocks to negotiate.”

The group followed this by travelling to Scafell Pike and then ending the challenge at Snowdon, raising money for Newmarket-based Racing Welfare, which supports the workforce of British horseracing.

“The residents still talk about their experiences and how it has provided a tremendous boost to their recovery. They say if they can complete Ben Nevis, then you can overcome most things in life – addiction included.”

Resident Lloyd Williams added: “During my worst days I never thought I would be taking part in anything like this. It’s been one of the toughest but most rewarding things I’ve achieved.

“The team spirit and morale was moving and we all kept each other going. It’s boosted my self-esteem and shown me that I can do anything I apply myself to physically and mentally.”

Andy May, who also took on the challenge, said: “This was one of the best experiences of my life. Completing all three mountains gave me a great sense of achievement and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”