In June 2018 a group of friends took on a challenge in memory of the late Irfon Williams to raise much-needed funds for their local hospice, Hospice at Home Gwynedd and Anglesey.
The idea of walking the 30 peaks in just 30 hours came through group leader Gwyn Griffiths whilst working as an Expedition Medic in Nepal. Initially planned for late summer 2017 the challenge had to be postponed due to severe weather. In May of 2018 the challenge had to be postponed yet again due to severe weather, and the weather was once again not on their side for their third attempt but this time for very different reasons, a heat wave.
On June 30th at 3am the group began their challenge from Pen y Pass, heading up and over Crib Goch to the top of Snowdon….at last, they had the weather they had been waiting for, allowing for stunning views during this incredible challenge.
Group member Stephen Edwards says:
“After months of training and planning, it was great to get going, albeit during one of the hottest periods of 2018.
“Due to the hot weathe,r the decision was made to complete the challenge as a relay to safeguard everyone’s health.
Leg One (Snowdon Range) was completed by Hannah Hughes and Dewi Ferrero. Leg Two (Glyderau Range) was completed by Alan Owen and Stephen Edwards. Leg Three was completed by Gwyn Griffiths and Phil Jones who walked the Carneddau Range.”
Weather conditions became difficult as Saturday evening went on, concerned about their safety the team decided to postpone the final leg until 8am the next morning. This was not a decision taken lightly and although disappointed, the group knew it was the right decision. The weather was back on their side by 8am and the whole group began the final leg together.
On completing the walk Stephen said:
“The experience was very emotional for all of us, it was physically and mentally challenging but worth every bead of sweat. Hospice at Home Gwynedd and Anglesey provide care to patients with cancer and other life limiting illnesses within the comfort of their own homes, allowing patients to spend their final days at home surrounded by their loved ones.
As a group, we hope the money raised through this challenge will help the Hospice continue their fantastic work.”
Gwynedd Area Fundraiser Keri McKie said:
“I have been privileged to work alongside this incredible group over the last 18 months as they took on many hours of long and treacherous training walks, often in the cold winter months and regularly through the night. This was not an easy challenge to prepare for especially around work and family life.
“We are incredibly grateful for this fantastic sum of money they have raised as well as raising awareness for local hospice care. We are delighted to announce the group have raised an incredible £2453.21.”
Along with proceeds generously donated from Irfon’s funeral, as Irfon received care from Hospice at Home during the last weeks of life (£3,461.37), #TeamIrfon have to date raised £5914.58 in total.
The team would like to all express their sincere thanks to Kevin Jones who provided logistical support and transport for this challenge as well as previous challenges. He also very generously sponsored the team’s challenge hoodies.
Since the fundraising challenge has taken place, Hospice at Home, Gwynedd and Anglesey have merged with neighbouring charity St David’s Hospice ensuring that the people of North West Wales receive the very best palliative and end of life care.
The charity provides care free of charge, relying on fundraising and donations to meet the bulk of their running costs. The support of the local community such as #TeamIrfon is essential to ensure people who need it get the care they deserve at a time in their lives they need it most.