Mates’ mountain challenge in memory of young Ben Pritchard

PUBLISHED: 16:00 24 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:23 24 June 2019

The Be More Ben Three Peaks challenge team. Picture: Alan Francis Black

The Be More Ben Three Peaks challenge team. Picture: Alan Francis Black

Alan Francis Black

A team of friends from Portishead will take on a mammoth charity challenge this weekend, with hopes of raising thousands of pounds for a worthy cause.

Eleven pals will take on the three peaks challenge in aid of The Benjamin Pritchard Foundation - Be More Ben, climbing to the highest points in Britain in the space of just two days.

The charity was launched in 2017 by Sarah and Shane Pritchard, the parents of eight-year-old Ben who died after battling a rare and very aggressive brain tumour called DIPG - aiming to raise awareness.

The organisation has gone from strength to strength since its inception, supporting families who have lost a child.

And it has won the support of the team - made up of Chris Everett, Matt Meacock, Andy Thomas, Iain Morley, Matt Pyke, Owen Townley, Ali McKenzie-Kerr, Neels Grobbelar, Tom Hodgson, Alan Francis Black, and Paul Middleton - who hope to raise £5,000 for the charity.

The Three Peaks Challenge will see the group climb the tallest mountains in England, Wales and Scotland respectively.

The group will set off on Friday, taking on Britain's tallest mountain Ben Nevis - which stands at 1,345m tall in the Scottish Grampians.

They will then travel south to 978m-tall Scafell Pike in the Lake District before finishing with the 1,085m climb of Wales' Snowdon and a well-earned beer.

The hardy fundraisers, many of whom are parents of children at Portishead Primary School, which Ben attended, are well on their way to their target - with more than £2,500 in the coffers.

Andy said months of training have been completed to prepare for the challenge, which will see the team walk 23 miles and climb more than 3,000 metres.

He added: "Many of us are friends with Shane and Sarah and it is a charity close to our hearts."

Three of the team are teachers at St Katherine's School in Pill, which has provided a minibus for the challenge.

At the wheel will be Eddie Mahony, who will drive the mountaineers 462 miles between the peaks.

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