Banovallum School staff complete tough Three Peaks mission

Some of the successful walkers from Banovallum School
Some of the successful walkers from Banovallum School

It’s hardly a surprise hard-working staff at Horncastle’s Banovallum School were happy to put their feet up at the start of the summer holidays.

They’ve just completed the daunting Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge - and raised almost £2,000 for charity in the process.

The challenge involves climbing Pen-y-gent, Whernside and Ingleborough in under 12 hours.

It’s a 24.5 miles - mostly uphill with Pen-y-gent coming in at 691 metres high, Whernside 728 metres and Ingleborough 723 meters.

However, the 14 strong Banovallum team - which included nine members of the school’s teaching staff - literally rose to the challenge.

All 14 broke the 12-hour barrier with the quickest group completing the trek in nine hours and 50 minutes.

Thanks to generous backing, the walk raised £1,885 for the British Heart Foundation.

Science teacher Ynske Fawcett was one of the main organisers.

She said: “The Three Peaks is something I’ve always wanted to do.

“When I mentioned it in the staff-room, the response was absolutely fantastic.

“A lot of the staff said they’d love to do it as well and things went from there.

“My dad worked for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) so it’s an organisation I knew a lot about.

“With that in mind, we decided to raise money for the BHF.

“I’m pleased to say we’re already up to £1,855 and hopefully a few more pounds will come in.”

The walkers were sponsored by Nationwide who provided special T-shirts with the logo ‘Bano Treckers’.

Mrs Fawcett admitted that a few weatherproof suits might not have gone amiss either.

She added: “We chose just about the worst day of the month to complete the walk.

“It was raining. The three peaks were actually in the clouds and there was a 40mph gale blowing on the tops.

“I think a few people were tempted to stay in the pub just a few hundred yards from the start.

“Then, we learned there an ice cream shop at the end, so that kept us going.

“One of the walkers was Pam Baxter, who has completed several marathon, and she said this was a lot tougher.”

The challenge involved a total climb of around 3,000 feet.

Fortunately, the team had put in several hours of practice.

Mrs Fawcett explained: “I’ve got to say everyone trained really hard.

“We had quite a few walkers who couldn’t actually go on the challenge for various reasons, but they still put the miles in.

“Apart from raising funds, it’s bean a great idea for bonding and team spirit.

“We really enjoyed it - even in the rain.”

The money has come in from a variety of sources, including a bake sale and a collection box for donations in the school’s reception area.

Mrs Fawcett said: “We’ve had tremendous support from parents and from pupils.

“The school is very community minded and this is a way of teachers actually getting involved in that.

“I’ve got to say a big thank you to everyone who took part - and everyone who gave money.”

Not that the walkers are going to rest on their laurels. They are already planning to walk the Lindsey Loop next year - preferably with the sun shining.