Ain’t no mountain high enough for adventurous port staff

June 17, 2014

Adventurous staff from Associated British Ports (ABP) have scaled six mountains in one weekend.

Employees from Britain's leading port operator have taken part in various 'Three Peaks' challenges, raising £23,000 and counting for charity in the process.

A team from ABP Port of Southampton tackled Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Snowden in aid of their local charity of hte year, Countess Mountbatten Hospice. The group of four climbers and two drivers took 27 hours to complete the mission, which saw them walk 24 miles, drive a further 450, and climb 10,000ft.

Meanwhile, colleagues from ABP's four Humber ports, along with teams from Drax Power Ltd and ABP's head office tackled the Yorkshire Three Peaks in aid of Marfleet Primary School, taking in Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. The 26-mile challenge formed part of a raft of activities organised to marke the centenary of Hull's King George Dock.

Staff from ABP Humber chose the school to benefit from their fundraising efforts because of its links to the Port of Hull. It was built in 1892 to provide education for the children of dockworkers and the money raised from ABP's blister-inducing activitiy will help fund a new classroom.

ABP Communications Coordinator Humber Rachel Addison explained why Marfleet Primary School has been chosen as ABP Humber's Charity of the Year.

She said: "The school was originally build to educate the children of dockworkers but it is now struggling to accommodate its pupils in a tiny Victorian building sandwiched between large industrial units.

"We wanted to help Marfleet build the extra classroom it desperately needs so it can continue to provide a first-rate education for the children of the local area."

Both teams encountered some hairy moments on their ascents.

ABP Environmental Manager Liz English, part of the Southampton team, said: "The weather closed in on us on Snowdon and we could barely see. The visibility was awful and you could hardly see what was an arm's length away. Luckily our map readers, Will and Gideon, got us through it and it made us realise just what a huge challenge we'd undertaken."

Lindsay Jameson, ABP Communications Coordinator Head Office, added: " Unfortunately my team thought that a couple of weekends spent traipsing round Box Hill would prepare us for this challenge; we were sadly mistaken. To say the final ascent was the toughest would be to entirely understate the fact that the first two were also horrendous.

"Luckily, however, we were buoyed by the cameraderie of our colleagues, and marching across the Yorkshire Dales to the tubes of the Damnbusters and the Battle of Britain certainly put a spring in our otherwise painful steps."

As well as supporting charities across the country ABP makes an essential contribution to the UK's economic life by supporting trade and enabling growth. It is estimated that its port support around 84,000 jobs and contribute £5.6 billion to the UK economy every year.

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To download a pdf copy of the press release, click here