In actual fact David won’t be leaving the UK but, like other members of the Club, he’ll be walking the hard miles and doing the hard steps to make the virtual Everest climb happen. It’s all part of a project to raise money for the Club’s Covid Relief Fund. So far Brigantes has raised £7000 and given away some £10,000 to help relieve the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic.
But the pandemic has made conventional fund-raising very difficult so the Club has looked for innovative ways of raising money. The virtual Everest climb is the latest and biggest. To succeed Club members have to walk over 1,500 miles and climb 1,000,000 feet.
For some weeks now Club members have been getting miles in the bank by pounding lanes and fields, trekking across the Yorkshire Dales and climbing anything that can be climbed locally. Steps up to Knaresborough Castle, stairs in a high-rise apartment, even the hill at the back of a member’s house – all are grist to the mill. Already we’ve amassed enough miles to get twenty of our members to Everest Base Camp. Now we’re working hard to make sure a summit party can prepare the way for our President’s final assault.
Project leader Graham Chilvers has produced a formula that enables him to translate our Yorkshire miles and feet of ascent into Everest miles and feet – quite different animals! Everest’s are steep.
They have to take account of altitude, gradient, weather and under-foot conditions. An Everest mile can be many Yorkshire miles. But we’re well on the way now and so our virtual climb will begin on 27th August. From then on you can follow our virtual progress in the Himalayas via daily updates on our website or by accessing our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Why, you might ask, should a group of people, most of whom are over seventy and who should know better, embark on such a mad idea? We’re told that Covid 19 is on the wane. Infections are down, shops are open, we can go to pubs and restaurants and schools will open soon. That’s all good news but, before we move on, let’s pause and remember those for whom Covid has left an indelible mark. A family member gone, a job lost, mental trauma, long-term physical effects, the pressures of coping – these after-shocks of Covid run through our communities up and down the country.
Trek leader Graham Chilvers, said:
That’s why we want to help – and we need you to help us.
To date the trek has raised some £2500 in sponsorship from members and friends but now we’re opening it up to everyone in a bid to reach our target of £5000. Most of the money we raise will go to support two organisations that help to pick up the pieces when communities suffer from the fall-out from Covid. ‘Carers’ Resource’ supports those who devote their lives to caring for a close friend or family member. ‘Wellspring’ offers a mental health counselling service, giving advice, offering support and helping to make a real difference to countless lives. These are charities whose work is needed now as never before and this is why we are defying the years by walking and climbing.
You can help us by donating to our Charitable Trust via their website
Harrogate Brigantes Rotary Club ss part of the worldwide Rotary movement and one of five clubs in the Harrogate district. It raises money for those in need locally and internationally and runs annual Technology tournaments for secondary schools and biennial choral concerts for primary schools. See www.rotaryharrogatebrigantes.org.uk/