FRIENDS of the Elderly, the charity which runs care homes, day care services and a grant-giving service for older people living on low incomes throughout England, received a wonderful donation of £308.00 from Esme Sheen, a seven-year-old who, along with three of her friends and their Mums, took on – and beat – West Dorset’s Three Peak Challenge.
The West Dorset Three Peaks Challenge is a 9.3-mile walk which takes in and scales the great heights of three of Dorset’s most prominent landmarks – Thorncombe Beacon (157 metres), Gold Cap (191 metres) and Colmer’s Hill (127 metres).
Talking about her epic achievement, Esme said:
“I was watching an episode of Blue Peter and they were talking about their top 10 challenges. It really inspired me to do something for charity.
“I’d read a book about the late Queen Elizabeth that was made especially for her Jubilee and it mentioned that Friends of the Elderly was one of the charities she had supported for over 70 years. After reading the book, I thought that it would be a nice charity to support. Originally I wanted to walk to The North Pole, but my Mum told me it would be too cold and as I don’t like the cold very much, I decided on the Three Peaks instead.”
Esme didn’t waste any time in getting three of her friends involved to join her on her quest. Esme continued:
“I didn’t do much training for the walk, my Mum and I did a few and when we went on holiday to Cornwall, all my family did a nice long walk to give me a bit of practice, so that helped.”
On the morning of Sunday 14th May, Esme, her friends and their Mums set off. Esme added:
“I thought it would be tough, but it actually wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. It wasn’t too bad when we were there walking the peaks. The hardest part was a really, really muddy bit where our feet sunk down into the mud. I was pleased as I managed to stay the cleanest of everyone, but to be honest, getting muddy was the best bit of the day.”
On the day of Esme’s outstanding challenge, the weather was nice with a rolling sea mist. Esme continued:
“At first we played tag as we were walking along, but then we started chatting and that kept us going for the whole walk. We saw loads of lambs as we went along which were very cute as well.”
Esme, her friends and their Mums completed the tiring 9.3 miles in six hours with Esme saying:
“It didn’t seem like six hours, we had such a nice fun day, I thought it was less than that.”
Lorna, Esme’s Mum said:
“I’m extremely proud of Esme and her friends – and the Mums too. I’m so proud of her motivation and positive attitude on the day. We all enjoyed the day, but Esme and her friends absolutely loved it. After we’d finished, they still had energy for a run on the beach and cake at Seatown where we started and finished the day.
“I think Esme has caught the fundraising challenge bug as she’s very keen to do more, but thankfully the thought of the cold North Pole has put her off trying that – for now at least.”
If you’d like to donate to Esme’s fundraising achievement and raise vital funds for Friends of the Elderly, you can do so at her JustGiving page.