Shop Direct chief executive, Mark Newton-Jones, has helped raise more than £15,000 for the UK’s military heroes.
Newton-Jones led an 11-strong team of senior management and other staff which successfully completed the grueling Three Peaks challenge in 24 hours.
Former Royal Marine Commando Greg Pye, of Merseyside-based Go Commando, had put the Shop Direct Group team through its paces in recent weeks and accompanied them on the challenge. Also joining them were nine Royal Marines – three on each mountain – and more than 30 other Shop Direct Group staff who tackled the final mountain with the 11 challengers.
All of the money raised will go to Help for Heroes, which fundraises for servicemen and women wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Commando 999, which provides support for Royal Marines and their families.
In order to complete the Three Peaks Challenge, the Shop Direct Group team had to ascend and descend the three highest peaks in the UK in 24 hours: Scotland’s Ben Nevis, England’s Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon in Wales.
Newton-Jones was inspired to take part after Greg, a close friend, launched an appeal for businesses across the UK to form teams to take part in the Three Peaks to raise money for the charities.
Almost 90 people from a range of businesses across the UK have since come forward to take part in a series of challenges during the next three months.
Newton-Jones said: “Help for Heroes and Commando 999 are two incredibly deserving causes and I had no problem persuading my colleagues to join me for what promises to be a challenging and inspirational 24 hours.
“It was an incredible experience not least to be accompanied by Royal Marines who have seen active service in Iraq and Afghanistan and who will benefit from the money we raise.
“While the Three Peaks challenge was an immense test of mental and physical stamina, we continually reminded ourselves that our endeavours pale into insignificance compared to the sacrifices these servicemen and others like them have made during recent years.”
Go Commando had been responsible for getting the Shop Direct Group team in fighting shape for the weekend.
Pye said: “I launched the initiative because I’ve lost so many friends in Afghanistan and I wanted to do something to help the country’s heroes.
“I am delighted that Shop Direct Group and many other businesses across the UK have responded to my call to arms and will be helping to raise tens of thousands of pounds for two great causes over the coming weeks.”