Why we wanted to fund raise for No Panic?
We both have received support from No Panic in the form of the Facebook group (particularly Sarah who is one of the moderators) and also occasionally the lovely people on the helplines. Although neither of us are fully recovered from our anxiety/panic disorders we have felt that No Panic have been a valuable resource on our ongoing road to recovery. We want to give back to such a deserving cause.
Why we decided to hike Mount Snowdon?
We decided that we wanted to do something that would be a challenge because anxiety has been a real challenge to us. Since having our anxiety disorders our lives and our family’s lives have been turned upside down. We wanted to show that with hard work and self-belief you can do anything (including recovering from this horrible illness). So after many discussions we decided to climb Snowdon in the winter.
How we fundraised?
We got all our family, friends and colleagues to sponsor us. We opened up a just giving page and shared this on many Facebook and Twitter pages. We made posters, collection boxes and business cards. We took donation buckets and collection boxes and posters around local shops, pubs, doctors and other business premises in the local area. We also held a craft evening. We all got together and made Christmas decorations which Rebecca then sold at a craft fair.
Who joined us?
After talking to our family and friends and getting them to sponsor us we managed to persuade many of them to join us in our hike. Both of our mothers, our brothers, sisters and family friends joined us. It was a great experience for all of us. There was 13 of us in total.
Preparation and safety measures?
We got all participants to fill out medical and next to kin forms. We had an Outdoor activities First aid kit and also took a whistle and foil blankets just in case we had any emergencies. We had a qualified walk leader with us to guide us and ensure our whole team remained safe at all times. He gave us a kit list and told us all what to expect and what we needed to do. Our leader informed the right people to let them know that we would be hiking the mountain on that day we would then inform them once we were all safely down.
The night before (stay in hostel)
A few of us decided it was best to stay in the youth hostel at the bottom of the mountain the night before the treck. Our leader Rick was there before us and cooked us all a curry. We had a nice glass of wine a good chat. The bar man was telling us stories about the mountain to try and scare us. We all then went to our dorm and slept in our quiet comfy bunk beds for the night.
The day of the hike
We got up at 6.30am and had a full English breakfast in the café then we got everything prepared for the day. We then met the others participants who didn’t stay at the hostel on the car park where Rick the walk leader talked to us all about what would happen. We started walking at 8.30am there are 6 routes up snowdon we walked up Pyg Track and then came back down Miners Path. Shortly after we ventured out it started to snow. The path we walked along was very rocky and icy. We all had to help each other and take lots of care not to trip or fall. We all managed the first half of the hike successfully. At the point of no return we all had sandwiches and snacks. We were all given the option to go back or carry on to the top. The weather and conditions was very bad but we carried on. When we were about 400 meters from the top a thick fog or cloud came down and surrounded us we couldn’t see where we were walking and it was deadly silent. Rebecca went as white as the snow on the ground and she started to panic. She couldn’t catch her breath, was shaking, felt sick and kept saying she was dying and to leave her there. She was having an anxiety attack. Michelle Stayed behind with Rebecca and two random men approached us as they could see Rebecca was in distress. They gave her some Kendal mint cake to suck on then helped us get to the top. The clouds remained thick. When we reached the top of the mountain the clouds seemed to clear slightly and all of a sudden it was noisy. The winds reached 50 mph, there were lots of seagulls and crows squawking and the temperature was about -10. We were FREEZING but we were all so happy to get to the top. Rebecca soon felt better and then we ventured back down the mountain. The paths down seemed even slippier than they were going up and we all kept falling over. We just had to put one foot in front of the other and hope for the best. We all survived the hike with no major injuries and got back at about 2.30ish so it took us about 6 hours to do the hike. We all then had a hot chocolate in the café at the bottom and drove the 3 hour long journey back home to Staffordshire.
With hard work, determination, self-motivation and team work we planned the hike and we all safely finished. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and we are so glad that we decided to do it.
- We made it to the top of Mount Snowdon which was an achievement for all of us.
- We have raised awareness of mental illness and promoted No panic.
- We have raised a total of £819.11 including gift aid for No Panic so far.
- It was a great source of confidence building.
- We would recommend everyone has a go at fundraising we had found it so enjoyable and it feels great when you finish.