SQ Digital Tackle Helvellyn for St John’s Hospice

The Helvellyn hikers ready to go!

On the evening of Saturday 18th June, an enthusiastic group of hikers met at Glenridding Village on the edge of Ullswater Lake to embark on an 11.5 mile hike up England’s third-highest mountain, Helvellyn. For some of us, it was our biggest challenge, taking on a 950m high Wainwright. Still, we all wanted to help raise desperately needed funds for our charity partner, St John’s Hospice.

The Helvellyn Sunset Walk challenge is a hike up the mountain starting at 5.30 pm in daylight, watching the sunset, and returning around midnight. The day we tackled this walk was one of the warmest of the year, but we were well prepared and enjoyed every minute. Well, maybe not every minute!

Three Peaks to Take On

Walking through Glenridding Common to White Side

Many of us didn’t realise how far the walk would take us. After a trek of 4 miles and over an hour of climbing, we made it to Whiteside and were rewarded with breathtaking views. It was a steep climb, and every muscle in our body had been worked to exhaustion. Unfortunately, we still had two more hills to go after this climb. They were both just as challenging but eventually proved to be just as rewarding. Our 4-mile route got us as far as 800m, the views from here were incredible, and the rest of our journey spread out before us was a little daunting, but we persevered.

Catstye Cam and Glenridding Common

Peaking for Sunset

We didn’t stop at the top of White Side for long, and soon we were on our way to Lower Man, not a Wainwright itself, but sitting in the shadows of Helvellyn at 925m high. This mountain involved a bit more scrambling in getting to the top, with some nerve-wracking drops near the path we were walking. Thankfully, with the help of our experienced guides and the incredible scenery, we could make it to the top. As we reached the summit of Lower Man, the wind rose, and the temperature dropped significantly.

The Team Enjoying the Views

Our Project Manager, Clare, said:

“Hiking up Helvellyn with the SQ family & the team from St John’s Hospice was an unforgettable experience. Watching the sunset from the summit was truly breathtaking & made the steep climb well worth it.”

The golden hour cast amazing light over Helvellyn’s famous edges, and it’s not something we will forget in a hurry. The views, the teamwork, the mini celebrations and the sun setting made it magical. We now had to keep moving at a brisk pace, as it was now a race against time to get to the summit in time for the sunset.

Golden Hour over Red Tarn

Celebrating at the Top

The final trek involved a few more scrambles up a stony path, with a steep slope on either side of us. It came with a feeling that one false move could send us hurtling down below. But we made it! We all celebrated getting to the top of the 3rd highest mountain in England, but some of us had other reasons to celebrate too.

Tony Bell, our Business Development Manager, convinced his wife Anna to join the SQ Family on the day. However, it wasn’t just an ordinary day for them, as they celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary. Tony commented:

“It was such a fantastic way to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary! Thanks to St John’s Hospice for the lovely touch of the anniversary banner and bottle of fizz at the summit. It made the evening extra special!”

Tony, Kamal and Anna celebrate Tony and Anna's 11th Wedding Anniversary

What Goes up, Must Come Down… in the Dark!

The team at Helvellyn's summit!

We enjoyed the views and took the shelter offered at the top for a short while before heading back down the mountain. Walking down the way we came meant we had to navigate Lower Man and White Side again! Ony this time, it was going to be darker and much colder. So even though we’d climbed our peak, we still had to take on two more before the actual descent began.

Our Content Executive, Emily Ward, said:

“The team did amazingly well getting to the top; it certainly wasn’t easy! The leaders were incredible and made everyone feel encouraged. The views from the top of the edges were stunning, memories that will stay with me forever!”

As we navigated the two peaks, then the steep descent down into the valley, the head torches were required, and a beautiful quiet came over the area. It was indeed a fantastic experience.

Walking down in the dark

St John’s Hospice and SQ Digital

St John’s Hospice provides free palliative care to patients with life-shortening conditions. For several years, SQ Digital has been proud to support St John’s Hospice and help with raising much-needed funds.

The charity offers a fantastic service to the 250,000 people in North Lancashire, South Lakes and parts of North Yorkshire. It does excellent work to raise the funds they need. The SQ Family has been touched by the level of support the Hospice provides on a personal level. As they only receive one-third of the funding required from the NHS, we do everything we can to support them.

The Hospice has recently added the Forget Me Not Centre to its Lancaster location. The centre offers bereavement support to families, including adults, children and young people.

11.5 miles done and back to the beginning at midnight

The hike raised over £3,500 for St John’s Hospice thanks to the team at SQ Digital and a few other supporters from the Hospice and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. It was an outstanding achievement and our PPC Executive, Fraser, loved the experience:

“Climbing Helvellyn rewarded me with amazing views, memories and most of all the proud feeling of knowing we all raised loads of money for such a good cause.”

Kamal Essa, Managing Director of SQ Digital, said;

“I’m incredibly proud of what the team achieved. It wasn’t an easy challenge to take on for some of us (me!), but it was extremely rewarding, and I’m really pleased we were able to raise over £3,500 for the Hospice. Thank you to everyone who supported us and donated to such a great cause.”

If you would like to support St John’s Hospice, you can still donate to the SQ Digital Helvellyn Sunset Walk page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/SQ-Digital-Helvellyn

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