People are being urged to sign up for a guided hike up Helvellyn in the Lake District to see the sunrise, while at the same time raising much-needed funds for a Cumbrian charity.
The event – on Sunday, September 13 – will be led by an expert guide from Lancaster-based Adventure Trails and will raise money for Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service (CADAS).
“This is a brilliant opportunity to help a charity, meet up with people in a socially-distanced way and to reconnect with nature,” said Leigh Williams, Chief Executive Officer of CADAS, whose fund-raising has been hit hard this summer due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Sunrise Helvellyn Hike will set off from Wythburn, Thirlmere at 4am, and those taking part will reach the 3,116ft summit of Helvellyn just before sunrise. They will watch the sun creep over the Pennines and the fabulous view of the rising sun to the east will stay with them as they continue on the main Helvellyn range, taking in the additional peaks of Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon Pike.
They will then drop down towards Dunmail Raise and back to the start point, the hike having taken around five to six hours.
The cost is a discounted £25 per person. “We would like each participant to pledge to raise between £100 to £200 for us through sponsorship, although it is not mandatory,” said Ms Williams.
She explained the hike would be Covid-19 compliant, with Adventure Trails following Government guidelines.
“This is a guided walk so if you would love to get out on the fells and see the sunrise but don’t necessarily have the navigation skills this will be ideal,” said Ms Williams. “But it is also open to experienced walkers who want to support CADAS.
“We would love to fill the places because we have lost so many opportunities this summer to do our normal fund-raising. We really need people to step up to help us.”
The charity needs to raise around £10,000 per week to run its services, which it is wanting to expand to help cope with the increased demand it is experiencing as a result of lockdown.
Money raised from the sunrise hike will go towards the cost of the helpline the charity established in May this year to provide support for people struggling with a wide range of unhealthy, addictive behaviours and towards the vital support services they offer to people struggling with their own, or someone else’s, problematic substance use.
Ms Williams explained that CADAS works with children and adults, with people in the midst of addiction and dependency and those in recovery and with those individuals’ parents, carers and other family members. It also does a huge amount of preventative work by running education and awareness sessions in schools and by teaching professionals, such as teachers, social workers and the police, to increase their knowledge of substances that can become addictive and harmful to health.
“We see on average around 500 people each year for up to 12 hours of individual client time but we also touch the lives of between two and three thousand other people through our events and workshops,” said Ms Williams.
Places on the sunrise hike are limited so people are being encouraged to sign up as soon as possible.
Once signed up, they will receive a pack with a link to a fund-raising page, although people can create their own sponsorship sheet if they prefer. They will also receive details about what kit to bring on the walk and tips on potential training tips they might do before the hike.
But Ms Williams added: “Anyone with reasonable fitness should be able to go up this route.”
Walkers will be led by qualified Mountain Leader Sean Bolland, who will also be able to talk knowledgably about mountain flora and fauna, the local landscape and history.
To sign up to take part in the Sunrise Helvellyn Hike go to https://www.adventuretrails.co.uk/product/cadas-helvellyn-sunrise-trek-sunday-13th-september/