Friends will scale three of Lake District’s highest peaks to raise money in memory of Steve

PUBLISHED: 10:00 12 September 2020

The late Steve Penny. Picture: Soldiers' And Airmen's Scripture Readers Association

The late Steve Penny. Picture: Soldiers' And Airmen's Scripture Readers Association

Soldiers' And Airmen's Scripture Readers Association

A group of friends will scale all three of the Lake District’s highest peaks of Scafell Pike, Helvellyn and Skiddaw in a day, raising money in memory of Steve Penny.

Fergus Drake from Great ChesterfordFergus Drake from Great Chesterford

Great Chesterford residents Fergus Drake, Tim Tait and Nat Collins, along with Ed Walker from Peterborough, and Dave Sanderson from Scotland will donate cash raised to the Soldiers’ And Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association, where Steve was latterly working.

Fergus desribed Steve as a personal hero and former boss, a former firefighter and Royal Marine.

Steve was the Director of the Tearfund Disaster Response Team, and gave Fergus his first role in humanitarian aid work in Liberia back in 1998.

Steve lost his battle with bipolar disorder and took his own life in April 2019 at the age of 56. He had a wife, Shereen and two sons Tom and Zach.

Tim Tait from Great ChesterfordTim Tait from Great Chesterford

Fergus said the fundraiser came about after a conversation - and once he’d mentioned it to Shereen, he felt there was no turning back.

“However, we don’t live in an area blessed with large hills,” he laughed.

Thursday was World Suicide Prevention Day.

Fergus said Steve was a larger than life character who led by example and was someone who cared deeply about his team, and he was a very capable and strong leader.

Nat Collins from Great ChesterfordNat Collins from Great Chesterford

Fergus had been unaware that Steve was having issues. Having looked into the issue, he learned that much work is needed, and the recent coronavirus lockdown has impacted on many people’s mental health.

He said the Royal family has tried to bring the importance of mental health to the forefront, with a campaign spearheaded by Prince William, Kate and Harry, but there is still some way to go until mental health is talked about as freely as having a broken arm.

Fergus said he hopes that the public will support their efforts, and donate what they can.

“It is the kind of extreme physical adventure that Steve would have loved. I have never completed a marathon let alone over 40 miles at an elevation of 4,000 feet in late autumn in one day so I would appreciate all the encouragement I can get.”

Dave Sanderson, brother in law to Fergus DrakeDave Sanderson, brother in law to Fergus Drake

The funding page is at /uk.gofundme.com/f/kcnc8b-a-cause-i-care-about-needs-help

Ed Walker from PeterboroughEd Walker from Peterborough

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