A TEAM of fundraisers has completed a mission that makes the challenges from reality television hit I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here! seem like child’s play.
A dozen staff from the structured real estate department at Lloyds Banking Group climbed each of the highest mountains in Scotland, Wales and England in just 28 hours to raise cash for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation (SKFF).
Dubbed the 3 Peaks Challenge, the inexperienced hikers reached the summit of Ben Nevis, Mount Snowdon and Sca Fell as part of the mad dash across Britain.
The challenge included walking 27 miles – the equivalent of climbing from base camp to the summit of Everest – and covering 450 miles in a minibus.
Completing the test was only made harder because of pouring rain on one of the worst weekends in June last year.
Their success has resulted in the department this month being nominated for the Sick Kids Heroes awards, which recognise the courage of patients, supporters and companies whose fundraising has gone beyond expectations.
The group will vie for recognition in the “team who always go the extra mile” category after raising £20,600 for Sick Kids.
The honour came after they decided to nominate the hospital as their team charity last year.
Senior manager Graeme Hutchison said: “I’ve never climbed a hill before in my life. You get lots of charity challenges that people do. It was about picking a challenge that was a real challenge and was going to test us.
“Out of the 12 of us that did it, there was only one of us who was a hillwalker.”
The team’s money has gone towards refurbishing the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion reception area and buying a life-like computer doll called a SimJunior.
Fellow senior manager David Mulligan said: “It’s a very complicated computer-led doll. It’s a teenage person. At the flick of a button, it will simulate a particular type or range of illnesses to allow a doctor to practice their life-saving techniques on this doll.
“Apparently it’s a life-saver. It allows them to practice predominantly with rare illnesses.”
Remaining members among the overall team of 60 also raised funds through a quiz night, selling Christmas cards, and bake sales and raffles.
Edinburgh-based Apex Hotels has been nominated for the Sick Kids Heroes awards in the category for companies whose fundraising has been beyond expectations.
Sales manager Yuva Arumugam said the group’s four hotels in the Capital had offered free meeting rooms, discounted rates and hosted events on behalf of Sick Kids.
The awards are designed to mark SKFF’s 20th anniversary. Winners will be announced at a gala lunch at the Caledonian Hotel on May 10. Tickets are £40 from SKFF by calling 0131-668 4949.