Couples reach for the skies in charity challenge

Jessica Lunt, Alan Welsh and Sharon and Keith Cairns at the top of Ben Nevis.
Jessica Lunt, Alan Welsh and Sharon and Keith Cairns at the top of Ben Nevis.

TWO MORPETH couples are reaching for the skies in a gruelling charity challenge.

Keen hiker Jessica Lunt completed a fund-raising climb up Ben Nevis earlier this year to raise £185 for domestic abuse charity Cease 24, where she is employed as an outreach worker .

But the 32-year-old wanted to do more to help so she hit on the idea of taking on the Three Peaks Challenge, which sees participants climb the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales — Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon — in just 24 hours.

And soon Miss Lunt had roped in her partner Alan Welsh to accompany her on the mammoth trek, along with friends Keith and Sharon Cairns, who are doing the climb in aid of the Children’s Head Injury Equipment Fund.

“After climbing Ben Nevis I realised that charity starts at home and needs to be about the people I work with so I agreed to do the Three Peaks Challenge for Cease 24,” she said.

“I do like a challenge, but it is worth it for the cause because climbing three mountains is nothing compared to what our service users go through.

“I have managed to rope in a team to do it with me, which should help.”

Miss Lunt has enjoyed hiking since her youth, but after a recent climb up Scafell, she recognises that the task she has set will be far from easy.

“I do enjoy climbing and I used to do it a lot when I was younger with my father. Before this year I had never done Ben Nevis before, but I had done a lot in the Lake District and I used to climb in Europe,” she said.

“The challenge is going to be difficult though. We are going to try each mountain in a certain time so we know what we are dealing with, but to do them all in 24 hours is going to be tight so we’ll be up and down with no time for photos or anything.

“When I climbed Scafell, even though it was in quite a good time, it was at the top when it really dawned on me that this is quite a serious challenge.”

The group hope to complete the fund-raiser in May next year, and the following year Miss Lunt plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

In total she hopes to raise £7,000 for the charity.

Cease 24 is a specialist domestic violence project managed by Victim Support to provide emotional and practical support to anyone affected by abuse throughout Northumberland.

It can offer one-to-one support, safety planning, advice with escape plans and coping strategies, group support, training, accompanied visits to other agencies and signposting to specialist services.

Anyone wishing to sponsor Miss Lunt’s climb should visit