Ryedale and District Mencap is a local charity dedicated to providing help, support and advice for adults and children with learning difficulties, their families and carers. Mencap, established 70 years ago is a leading charity influencing change and bringing better opportunities for the 1.4 million people who live with a learning disability in Britain. Mencap has been a charity close to my heart for many years. My elder sister Victoria is 36 years old and has the most common type of Down's syndrome - Trisomy 21. There are three types of Down's syndrome and they involve a huge range of ability levels and associated health issues. Victoria is a loving and happy lady with a disarming smile, but is profoundly affected by her disability. Charities like Mencap with the services and activities they provide are a very important part of her life. Whether it be a Zumba class or Disco night, these activities play an important role in improving her quality of life. Ryedale Mencap need support in order to secure the charity's long term future and ensure they can continue to provide these local services. The charity is currently limited to employing just one person for twenty hours per week and more hands-on support is urgently required. My company has assisted the charity by setting up a website so Ryedale Mencap now has a platform to raise local awareness. Earlier this month I was elected as Chairman and my plan is to help the charity grow, building a strong team in order to improve the range and scope of services Ryedale Mencap provides for local adults and children with learning difficulties.
Having done little fundraising in recent years, I felt it was right to demonstrate my commitment to Ryedale Mencap by taking a serious challenge. On the 18th November 2018 I will be walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks. The demanding route is over 24 miles, and includes 1585m of ascent and the challenge takes on the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, usually in this order and in under 12 hours. These peaks form part of the Pennine range and encircle the iconic Ribble Head in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. I'm expecting it to be extremely arduous with weather risks and lack of daylight later in the day. I do intend to train, but I must confess to a lack of experience for this sort of challenge, so I've asked some experienced friends/family to come along and join me. I hope they make the challenge more enjoyable but more importantly they will be assisting me in raising much needed funds. I would ask friends, clients, contacts, colleagues to give generously as an ambitious target has been put in place.
Here is the list of dedicated friends who have agreed to the hike so far;