Entrants were challenged to submit pictures of themselves with the badges on fell summits

Entrants were challenged to submit pictures of themselves with the badges on fell summits

A Lake District retailer and its customers have raised more than £5,000 for charity with a challenge in which people were encouraged to climb fells.

The Keswick Boot Company’s Wainwright Challenge smashed its original target of £1,000.

Cash from the challenge, during which supporters were asked to pay £10 for a special badge and photograph themselves on mountain summits, will go to Cumbria Downs Syndrome Support Group.

The scheme began in March 2019 but coronavirus lockdowns led to its conclusion date being extended. The final total raised for the charity was £5,440.

Organisers said: “Everyone who bought a badge was automatically entered into a monthly draw with prizes including books, boots, socks and beautiful locally made glassware. There were also a range of spot prizes where badges were hidden on the tops of fells and a trail of social media clues led amateur detective hikers to their location.

“Those submitting photos of themselves atop a fell, with badges on display, were also entered into the grand prize draw that included two pairs of Aku boots, three nights’ accommodation at the Troutbeck Inn, a guided walk from Lakeland Mountain Guides plus a photoshoot with local award-winning landscape photographer Carmen Norman.

“Last week the draw was made with Maxine Ostle being the lucky winner.

“Supporters really took the challenge to heart and, between them, have taken photos at the top of all the Wainwright fells. Not that the challenge of climbing a fell was enough for everyone; some people took part in fancy dress and one person even carried a unicorn to the top of Scafell.

“West Midlands Fire and Rescue also joined in the fun when they escorted a group of children to the top of Scafell Pike as part of the Aurora Youth Development Programme, proudly displaying their KBC Challenge badge on the top of their very first fell.”

Alex Charlton, co-owner of Keswick Boot Company, said: “We have been completely humbled by the way people have embraced this challenge.

“As well as raising funds our original aim was to encourage people to get out and enjoy the magnificent fells, and we have loved seeing whole family groups taking part and enjoying the outdoors together.”

Co-owner Kerrie Charlton added: “We also wanted it to be a challenge that anyone could join in, from those who just wanted a gentle stroll from the car park to the top of Latrigg to those scaling Blencathra via Sharp Edge. Everything counted, and we have loved looking at every single one of the photographs.”

Louise Hext, chair of Cumbrian Downs Syndrome Support Group, said, “We are overwhelmed and moved with the huge generosity and support that has been shown to our charity.

“We are truly thankful to each and every person that has helped raise this phenomenal amount of money. We are a small charity, and this is the largest single donation ever received that will go on to support families in ways we never thought possible.”

The Wainwrights are the 214 fells described by the late author Alfred Wainwright in his series of Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells.

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