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Keswick Boot Company’s Wainwright Challenge raises £5,000 for Down’s syndrome group

A challenge set up by a Cumbrian business to raise funds for charity has smashed its original target.

Keswick Boot Company’s Wainwright Challenge aimed to raise £1,000 for Cumbria Down’s Syndrome Support but has totalled  £5,440.

The challenge was launched in March 2019 and saw supporters paying £10 for a KBC Wainwright Challenge badge which they then wore as they climbed the local fells, photographing themselves at the top.

The coronavirus pandemic put the challenge’s finale on hold, but the final results have now been announced.

Everyone who bought a badge was automatically entered into a monthly prize draw with prizes including books, boots, socks and locally made glassware.

There were also a range of spot prizes where badges were hidden on the tops of fells and a trail of social media clues led amateur detective hikers to their location.

Those submitting photos of themselves atop a fell, with badges on display, were also entered into the grand prize draw that included two pairs of Aku boots, three nights’ accommodation at the Troutbeck Inn, a guided walk from Lakeland Mountain Guides plus a photoshoot with local award-winning landscape photographer Carmen Norman.

Last week the draw was made, with Maxine Ostle being the lucky winner.

Some people took part in fancy dress and one person even carried a unicorn to the top of Scafell.

West Midlands Fire and Rescue also joined in the fun when they escorted a group of children to the top of Scafell Pike as part of the Aurora Youth Development Programme, displaying their challenge badge on the top of their very first fell.

Alex and Kerrie Charlton, own Keswick Boot Company.

Alex said: “We have been completely humbled by the way people have embraced this challenge.

“As well as raising funds our original aim was to encourage people to get out and enjoy the magnificent fells, and we have loved seeing whole family groups taking part and enjoying the outdoors together.”

Kerrie added: “We also wanted it to be a challenge that anyone could join in, from those who just wanted a gentle stroll from the car park to the top of Latrigg to those scaling Blencathra via Sharp Edge, everything counted, and we have loved looking at every single one of the photographs.”

Louise Hext, chair of Cumbrian Down’s Syndrome Support Group, said: “We are overwhelmed and moved with the huge generosity and support that has been shown to our charity, we are truly thankful to each and every person that has helped raise this phenomenal amount of money.

“We are a small charity and this is the largest single donation ever received that will go on to support families in ways we never thought possible.”