Darren's Peaky Blinders raise £2.7k for cancer charity
At Newsline, it is always heartwarming to learn of colleagues going the extra mile to help others and a team from Fawley Site Projects has done just that literally and vertically! The self-named ‘Peaky Blinders’ participated in the Three Peaks Challenge in September to raise money after a colleague was diagnosed with lymphoma – the UK’s fifth most common cancer.
The story begins a year ago, when Darren Harris, an electrician at Fawley, had to postpone his wedding due to COVID-19 restrictions. Using his time off he and his fiancé went on holiday testing out their new campervan, but on their return, Darren went to his doctors feeling unwell. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with blood cancer and, for the next eight months, had to endure a difficult treatment plan including chemotherapy. With the pandemic at its height, he also had to isolate from family and friends as his immune system was heavily compromised.
Darren returned to work in May this year, thanks to the support received from Southampton General Hospital. Touched by his ordeal, his Fawley colleagues Glen Taylor, Christian John, Jon Curtin, Birgit Johnson, Dave Hinton and Josh Turner decided to fundraise for Lymphoma Action – the UK’s only charity dedicated to lymphoma, which helped their very good friend beat and recover from the disease.
The team of six decided to compete in the UK Three Peaks Challenge, climbing the three largest peaks in Scotland (Ben Nevis), Wales (Snowdon) and England (Scafell Pike) within 24 hours, including travelling. They began their ascent of Ben Nevis at 08.30 am on Saturday 25 September 2021 and completed the challenge the following morning with just 10 minutes to spare and having raised more than £2,700 for Lymphoma Action.
Glen said: “Our training plan included walking uphill on treadmills, night walks and walking some of the hills in Hampshire. It turned out that the Hampshire hills have nothing on Ben Nevis, and we soon realised that the reality of the mountains was nothing like the training we had done! It was really tough and all of us hit a wall at some point during the challenge as the pace was so quick. We completely underestimated what we'd let ourselves in for, but it was worth it to raise such a great sum.”
Darren is grateful for the support of his colleagues as he continues his recovery, and we are delighted to report that he finally got married too. By co-incidence, on the day of the Three Peaks Challenge!
If you would like to donate to increase the ‘Peaky Blinders’ fundraising total, please click here.