Ain’t no mountain high enough to stop fundraisers in three peaks climbs

Friends seen at Cottingwood Green, Newsham, who are taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge in aid of Princess Ellie's Trust and Bailey's Bike Ride-(left to right-back row) Shaun Butler, Paul Husband, Stephen Park, Dan Long and (front) David Sutcliffe.
Friends seen at Cottingwood Green, Newsham, who are taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge in aid of Princess Ellie's Trust and Bailey's Bike Ride-(left to right-back row) Shaun Butler, Paul Husband, Stephen Park, Dan Long and (front) David Sutcliffe.

A BLYTH dad is proving that there ain’t no mountain high enough to stop him raising money for charity.

Dave Sutcliffe, of Cottingwood Green in Newsham, is preparing to scale the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales in the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge.

The 34-year-old plans to walk Ben Nevis, Scarfell Pike and Snowdon all in 24 hours in aid of Princess Ellie’s Trust and Bailey’s Bike Ride.

Dave, who works for Tharsus Engineering in Blyth, said: “Each year I try and do a little for charity, which to this point had been small 5km runs.

“I watched numerous friends doing larger events like sky dives or treks, and this was my motivation.

“I decided to create a ‘bucket list’ of things I want to do and this was the national Three Peaks Challenge.”

Dave will be joined by nine friends, including Shaun Butler, 35, of Dorking Close, South Beach in Blyth, and Dan Long, 27, of Newsham Road, Blyth.

Shaun set up Bailey’s Bike Ride with his wife Julie four years ago after their son Bailey was born two months prematurely, weighing just 4lb 4oz.

They were so grateful for the care Bailey received at Wansbeck General Hospital in Ashington that they decided to hold an annual bike ride from Blyth to Whitley Bay and back to raise money for the special care baby unit as their way of thanking staff.

Princess Ellie’s Trust was set up by Dan and his partner Rachel Skene following the death of their daughter Ellie in 2010. She died soon after her second birthday just hours after showing signs of meningitis.

Dan and Rachel decided to raise money to fight the disease and try to prevent other parents having to face similar tragedies.

Dave said both charities are close to his heart as his wife Clair lost her first child, Antony, when he was born three months prematurely in 1991.

“Both charities are important to my wife and myself,” the father-of-five said.

“I wanted to support a local charity and my wife wanted to support a local baby unit after she suffered the loss of her first child 21 years ago.

“Antony was born 13 weeks premature but at that time the services and knowledge were not available like they are now.

“Funding has been a big part in bringing hospitals to the standards we have today and now many more children survive.

“We just want to do our part.”

The group will be setting off on the challenge on Friday, August 10.

Anyone wishing to sponsor them can e-mail a payment to baileysbikeride@live.com or drop money into a donation box at The Astley Arms in Seaton Sluice or Powerhouse Gym in Blyth.