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Ashley and team mates taking on the three peaks challenge.png
07 July 2023

Ashley's experience climbing the UK's three highest mountains for Shout

Ashley, a doctor, raised an amazing £1,105 for Shout by challenging himself to climb the UK’s three highest peaks within 24 hours. He tells us why he took on the gruelling challenge and gives us his top tips for fundraising.

What motivated you to fundraise for Shout?

My first exposure to mental health services occurred at a relatively young age due to unfortunate circumstances affecting a close family relative. I was able to witness first-hand the crucial role that these services play in supporting people and their loved ones during a mental health crisis.

Many years later, after qualifying as a doctor, I was able to support others in a similar way through my work at several different mental health units and settings. It was through this work that I became familiar with Shout, the UK's only free 24/7 text service for anyone struggling to cope with their mental health, and I now find myself frequently signposting my patients to it.

As a result of the incredible feedback I heard from these patients, particularly the young ones struggling to cope, Shout has held a special place in my heart and was therefore the natural choice when selecting a charity to represent.

Ashley at the top of the UK's 3 Peaks

How did you find the fundraising activity beneficial for your own mental health?

There is something incredibly empowering about stepping out of your comfort zone. I had never embarked on a challenge like this before, and my fitness level prior to training was... not the best. Setting and meeting my weekly fitness goals, which ranged from simple walks to gym sessions to practise hikes, brought a huge level of fulfilment and had a lasting positive effect on my mental wellbeing.

What were your highlights?

To be completely honest, there weren't many highlights during the challenge itself - other than the breathtaking views on Ben Nevis and Snowdon (Scafell Pike was a night hike). However the sense of relief and accomplishment once I finally descended the final mountain, after successfully reaching the summit of all three, was a sense of relief unlike anything I'd ever felt before in my life! I also enjoyed the training process, the camaraderie among the team I travelled with, and the touching support I received from friends, family and colleagues while fundraising.

What would be your advice to help others make the most of their fundraising activities for Shout?

Embrace the moment! Throw yourself into the challenge and draw as much enjoyment as you can from the process. Don't be disheartened if the challenge does not go entirely to plan - what truly matters is your intent and the effort you put into whatever it is you choose to do. Good luck!

Ashley on the trail.png

Did you approach your workplace, university or any other business to support your fundraising?

I created a JustGiving page detailing the challenge and explaining my motivation for choosing Shout as my chosen charity. I then circulated it around my current and former colleagues, as well as friends and family. Through their generous support, which did require a bit of begging, I was fortunate enough to exceed my fundraising target by raising just over £1100.

Want to take on a trekking challenge to fundraise for Shout? Find out more.