Early this month we spoke with Neil about his UK National Three Peaks Challenge, the fundraising tactics he used, tips, tricks and training advice for the mammoth mountain challenge.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the fundraising challenge that you took part in?

My names Neil, I’m married and have three children and I work in the insurance industry. I absolutely love adventure, and particularly challenges. With this in mind, I decided to take part in the UK National Three Peaks Challenge, this involves climbing Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike – the three highest mountains in Wales, Scotland and England respectively –all within a 24-hour time frame.

What inspired you to want to fundraise for PAPYRUS? And why did you choose this specific event?

There were several reasons I wanted to take part in this particular challenge. I have wanted to do it for a few years, and I also knew that I wanted to fundraise and so I thought, why not combine the two. Taking on something that I knew was going to challenge me and raising money for two charities was something that would give me a sense of accomplishment.

Getting started

What fundraising strategies or tactics did you find the most effective in reaching your goals?

I used a few various tactics when it came to ensuring I reached my goals. I used social media to promote my challenge, to let people know the training I was undertaking and about the challenge itself, I found that Instagram and LinkedIn worked best for me. I then wrote a short note to accompany my posts. I sent separate emails to my work colleagues and friends and family, explaining why I was completing the challenge and links to my fundraising page.

Were there any unique approaches you took that worked particularly well for your campaigns?

I don’t think so. Although, I did write a short note to all my supporters and shared this across my social media, in this I included that I had completed the event and how long it took. I also included photos and thanked everyone for their support. I then let everyone know when I was going to close my fundraising page in case there were any last-minute donations that individuals wanted to make.

What information did you find useful to include on your page?

I made sure to include some vital information, this was about the challenge itself, the distance I was going to cover, the road trip that I undertook as part of the challenge and also my sleeping pattern, I felt that this really helped create the suspense for my supporters to see how I was doing throughout the challenge.  I also shared the two charities that I was fundraising for, PAPYRUS being one of them along with why I had chosen these specific charities.

Your journey

Did you find people engaged with your page and donated?

I found that people engaged greatly with my fundraising page. I always kept it up to date so that supporters were kept in the loop. I even had to increase my fundraising target as everyone was so generous!

Can you share any tips for engaging friends, family, and the community to support your cause?

I think that this was relatively simple. I chose two charities that meant a lot to me personally and so I found that because of this, friends and family wanted to support me in my cause which was truly humbling.

The UK National Three Peaks Challenge is a huge physical undertaking, what kind of training and preparation did you need to do?

I have been an avid runner for the past 10 years and so I did have a good level of fitness to begin with. At the beginning of 2023, I joined a local gym where I completed spin classes as well as strength and conditioning classes, which really served me well with my challenge being based around cardio, physical fitness and speed and strength.

Can you share some training tips or advice for others considering similar challenges?

I’d say with any physical challenge it’s so important to focus on building your fitness, whether that be running, gym classes such as spin, body attack, body pump or weights. Try to focus on being the best version of yourself so that you are confident in the challenge you will be taking part in.

Fundraising can be tough at times; how did you ensure you looked after yourself throughout all your hard work, and how did you factor in self-care?

One of the most important things for me was to rest, I also made sure that I took part in fun activities that didn’t include exercise on my days off. I did also purchase some new equipment that I thought would help me with my challenge.

The challenge

Did you enjoy your challenge, and would you recommend it to other potential fundraisers?

I absolutely loved it! It really challenged and inspired me. I love being out in nature and so taking part in this incredible challenge allowed me to be always in a beautiful location. It was great to meet new people. I have always been the one to put my hand up and get to the front, I like ‘pace setting’ through my running and ultimately, I could push myself (knowing that I could drop back, if needed.)

Did you find your fundraising rewarding?

Yes, I knew that the money I had raised throughout my challenge would support the efforts of both the causes I was raising it for. I was so proud when I exceeded my fundraising target. I think that this had to be one of my most memorable milestones. I had awesome weather during my challenge, and I think this made it truly enjoyable.

Can you share a highlight or achievement that made the entire experience worthwhile?

I think that my main achievement was completing the three peaks challenge in 22 hours and 31 minutes. I was hugely proud of this, as well as raising the £2,600 that was split between PAPYRUS and The Boswells Volleyball Club.

Advice for prospective fundraisers/ closing thoughts:

What advice would you give to individuals who are considering fundraising for PAPYRUS but may be hesitant to start?

I’d say go for it!

Taking on a challenge will certainly stretch you and will be sure to put you through your paces. You would be amazed at what you can achieve with the right training and support. Fundraising is really rewarding and I’m so glad that I got to complete this challenge.

Would you take part in any fundraising in the future?

I definitely want to take part in some fundraising in the future, I really enjoyed this challenge, and it would be great if I could do it again. I do also really want to complete Kilimanjaro though, so this could be next on my bucket list.

Thanks, Neil for sharing your fundraising story with us. If you’ve been inspired by Neil’s UK National Three Peaks Challenge and would like to fundraise for PAPYRUS and raise awareness of suicide prevention along the way, take a look at the fundraising events that we’re running in 2024, here

Spread the love