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Charity Fundraising : a case study


Charity fundraising has seen a very broad range of activities done in its name; from sponsored walks to garage sales, from fancy dress days to rock concerts. However, real adventurers may be bored by bake sales and sick of swimming sponsored lengths. Many of them crave something which will get the adrenalin pumping and test them to the limit. If you're one of them, read on. There aren't many charity fundraising activities which require more stamina than the British Three Peaks Challenge.


The aim of people who undertake the Three Peak Challenge is, believe it or not, to climb three major mountains. in the space of only 24 hours. The three peaks in question are the highest mountain in Scotland , the highest mountain in England and the highest mountain in Wales . The craze began in the UK a few years ago, and has seen a steady growth in popularity.

Patrick Maguire, a radio producer from London , recently undertook the Three-Peak Challenge to raise money for the Rwenzori Development Foundation, a charity in Uganda which deals with two of the country's most vital issues: education and the environment. The three peaks which Patrick climbed were three of the UK 's most famous and gruelling mountains: Ben Nevis, in the Highlands of Scotland, Scafell Pike in Northern England and Mount Snowdon in North Wales . When he undertook the challenge, he had never done any mountaineering before, although he was no stranger to trekking.

The schedule for Patrick's six-person team was to climb Ben Nevis first, then drive to Scafell Pike, climb Scafell Pike and then drive to Mount Snowdon and climb that. A near-superhuman feat on a perfect day, but the team found themselves beset by terrible weather, too: 80mph winds and heavy rain. But, rather than giving up, they soldiered on to complete all three mountains in 28 hours.

So what stopped them giving up? "I don't give up," says Patrick. "I'm not like that." There was no secret weapon, like PowerBars or Buddhist mantras, just grim determination. As Patrick puts it, "You just keep on keeping on." He raised £450 (about $842) for the Ugandan charity, money which will go towards projects like schools for poor children who would otherwise have no chance of an education. Others on his team raised even more money.

You might think that these six intrepid climbers would be alone in their astonishing achievement, but there were about forty other people who did the same thing at the same time.

So will the team confine their future charity fundraising to tamer activities, such as raffles and garage sales? Not likely. Now the team plan to do something completely different, an equally gruelling and seemingly impossible task. At the time of writing, one idea being considered is rowing across the English Channel in a longboat.