What better way to raise money for charity than to ‘climb’ the highest mountain in the world?
*** Thank you for your kind donations! As a result of your generosity, I have manged to increase by target from £1,000 to £1,500. Amazing! ***
*** This is amazing! I have now managed to hit my new target of £1,500. For the last few weeks, let's see if we can hit a new target! ***
On the 21st May 2018*, my Everesting adventure begins!
Completing an Everesting challenge requires repeatedly cycling up and down a single hill or mountain – in a single day – in order to gain the same total height as Mount Everest (8,848m).
I have picked an Alpine pass for this adventure – the west side of the Col de la Croix Fry. The pass is an 11km ascent climbing from 650m to around 1,450m above sea-level – an average gradient of over 7%.
To put this into context, I will be cycling up and down a famous Tour de France climb 11 times in around 13 hours,covering a distance of around 250km. An extra kicker is that there is only 14-15 hours of sunlight available!
*Weather/conditions permitting – may move to another day in w/c 21st May.
Climbing any mountain is a challenge.
There are mountains that life builds for you; there are mountains that society builds for you; there are mountains that you build for yourself.
We live in a fast-paced world where young people can struggle to comprehend the world they live in. Young people experience great pressure and uncertainty from an early age, report low levels of societal cohesion and do not perceive themselves to be worthy, valuable and responsible members of society (Young People and Community Cohesion, Department for Education, 2010).
This not only poses profound social questions it is also a significant issue for our economy.
Now more than ever, confidence, collaboration and articulacy are essential life skills, yet the British Chamber of Commerce Workforce Survey 2014 reported that 88% of firms believe school leavers are not prepared for work and 57% believe this is due to a lack of “soft skills” such as communication, team working and resilience (BCC 2014).
Shakespeare Schools Foundation (SSF) is a national cultural education charity that gives young people the confidence they need to succeed in life.
SSF’s core project is the Shakespeare Schools Festival; a nationwide annual Festival, where over 1,000 schools perform an abridged Shakespeare play in their local professional theatre. By providing workshops, materials and artistic advice, SSF helps teachers and pupils from all backgrounds at every stage of the production process.
Every year SSF works with 30,000 young people across 1,000 schools in over 130 theatres. Alongside the Festival, SSF runs a year-round programme of tailored activities in special schools and Pupil Referral Units. Their work is completely inclusive bringing young people of all ages, from all backgrounds - particularly encouraging and supporting those living in areas of disadvantage and with greatest needs - together.
With SSF, children and their teachers don’t just explore Shakespeare; they also explore themselves and learn how much they can achieve. SSF gives them the tools to access the characters, language and story with greater understanding and offers opportunities to learn vital life skills of collaboration, communication and ambition.
Not every young person learns in the same way. Not every young person has the same opportunities. Not every young person is inspired in the same way. I believe that cultural and artistic activities can provide an environment where young people can grow and develop as well as share new experiences together. The impact on young people of the programme SSF provides is profound.
So, I am going to climb this mountain, time after time, lap after lap, so that SSF can help young people climb their own mountain.
Following the challenge
I will be posting training updates on twitter using the hashtag #everestingjoe. On the day of the challenge, you’ll be able to see progress using the same hashtag – beautiful shots of the countryside; glorious shots of the mountain; and not-so-beautiful shots of me in pain! #everestingjoe
I am hugely grateful for any money you are able to donate – there is no such thing as a donation that is too small!
Anything you can give – particularly with Gift Aid – will make a genuine difference to children up and down the country.
If you are able to, please pass this on to people you know.
And who knows? I may see some of you out there!
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