Snowdon climb raises over £1,000 for charities

The fundraisers at the top of the mountain

Lifesavers have raised more than £1,000 for charities by completing a mountainous challenge involving a former firefighter who is paralysed from the waist down following a freak accident at the gym.

A mixed team of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) firefighters and International Search and Rescue Team (ISAR) members overcame tough weather conditions and a puncture to push Vicki Griffiths up the highest mountain in Wales on Friday 6 September.

Gary Senior in CFRS’ workshop made a bespoke chariot for the fundraising challenge.Lifesavers push Vicki up Snowdon

Vicki sat in the chariot as her former on-call crew colleagues at Warrington’s Birchwood Fire Station and ISAR members pushed it along the Llanberis Path to the top of Snowdon, which is 1,085 metres above sea level.

The 20-strong group then pushed it back down the mountain, with the challenge taking five-and-a-half hours to complete.
Runcorn and Widnes fire stations’ manager and ex-ISAR team leader Stuart Devereux, who organised and took part in the Snowdon challenge, said: “We had to endure difficult weather conditions, including strong winds and driving rain.The group during the trek up Snowdon

“We also had to fix a puncture on one of the chariot’s wheels halfway up the mountain and we had to use a section of a train track near the top of Snowdon due to the footpath being too narrow.

“But we kept a good pace throughout, with three people pushing the chariot from the back bar, two pushing from the front bar and four people attached to ropes on the front of the chariot.

“On the steeper sections we had to lift the chariot up rock steps.

“It was hard work but well worth it. I am delighted that we completed the challenge and have so far raised £1,400 for The Fire Fighters Charity, the UK’s leading provider of services that enhance quality of life for serving and retired fire service personnel and their families, and Classrooms in the Clouds, which support sustainable education for children in the poorest regions of Nepal.

“CFRS Fire Cadets travel to Nepal to help the work of Classrooms in the Clouds every year.”

Vicki broke her back and damaged her spinal cord at the gym in March 2017 when she was a member of the on-call crew at Birchwood Fire Station.

The 34-year-old mum-of-two lost her footing as she was lifting 130kg on a squat rack.

She was in hospital for three months and her house and car had to be adapted so that she could return home.

Stuart added: “Vicki’s accident would be a crushing hammer blow to most but she hasn’t stopped seeking adventure.

“Following her accident she is no longer able to work as a firefighter, but she continues to be a part of the CFRS team.

“She now works at Safety Central, our interactive lifeskills education centre in Lymm, Warrington.

“One of her Safety Central colleagues, Selina Blain, took part in the Snowdon challenge, as did Vicki’s dad David and her partner Jamie.

“We originally thought that we had 12 people tackling the Snowdon challenge but we ended up having 20 for what was a great day for Vicki and everyone else involved.

“I would like to thank all the members of the ISAR team and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and their families for taking part and providing their skill, advice and, above all, muscle to ensure that we completed the challenge.

“I would also like to thank Gary Senior for his skill and hard work in making the chariot, Glossop-based Garie Bevan Coatings Ltd for powder coating it for free, Wrexham-based motorsport products company Demon Tweeks for donating the seat that Vicki sat on and

CFRS Cadet Leader Howard Coppenhall for driving the minibus that took the group to Snowdon.”

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To make a donation for the Snowdon challenge visit - Just Giving - Snowdon Challenge (opens in new window).

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Snowdon climb raises more than £1,000 for charities