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Doncaster group battle wind and rain to conquer mountain for charity

Five men get ready to climb Ben Nevis in support of Ben Parkinson's and Nichola Hughes charities. Pictured back l-r Sam Hughes, Shaun Heyes, Bryn Hughes (Nichola's dad), Martin Bilby and Paul Holmes. Front l-r Paul Bristow and Ben Parkinson. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 09-08-14 Ben Nevis MC 2

Five men get ready to climb Ben Nevis in support of Ben Parkinson's and Nichola Hughes charities. Pictured back l-r Sam Hughes, Shaun Heyes, Bryn Hughes (Nichola's dad), Martin Bilby and Paul Holmes. Front l-r Paul Bristow and Ben Parkinson. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 09-08-14 Ben Nevis MC 2

Five Doncaster men battled Hurricane Bertha as they scaled Britain’s highest peak to make a mountain of cash for charity.

Chip shop owner Martin Bilby and ex-soldier Paul Bristow aim to raise as much as they can for war veteran Ben Parkinson’s charity Pilgrim Bandits and the Nicola Hughes Memorial Fund to help those children who have lost a family member through violent crime.

The pals were joined in their bid to scale Ben Nevis in Scotland by Shaun Hayes, Paul Holmes and Mark Brierley.

Doncaster hero Ben Parkinson and Bryn Hughes, the father of murdered Manchester policewoman Nicola, met the men at the Stag Inn near the town centre to see them off on their journey.

The men started their climb at 6am yesterday and battled wet, windy, and cold weather to complete their challenge.

Martin, aged 45, said: “It was a tough one, but when it got hard we just thought of what we were doing it for, to spur us on.”

Martin and Paul have further endurance events planned this summer and hope to raise £10,000 in total for Pilgrim Bandits.

The mood was merry at the Stag Inn as pub regulars joined family and friends of the climbers there on Saturday afternoon.

Three of the men returned home on Sunday night.

But Martin and Paul Holmes are to cycle back, before Martin attempts a 500ft abseil in Friday.

He also plans to swim a mile at Adwick Baths early next week, before a parachute jump on Wednesday, August 20, and a half marathon the following Sunday.

He is also planning a man versus food challenge at his Doncaster fisheries.

Both Lance Bombardier Parkinson, the most seriously wounded soldier to survive the war in Afghanistan, and Bryn wished the men well, and thanked them for their support.

Mr Hughes said: “It’s great people like this support our charity. So far we’ve raised quarter of a million pounds to help stricken children.

“There have been police efforts and we have events planned such as a Lands End to John o’ Groats baton relay, possibly in September.”

Worthwhile charities aim to spur people on

Ben Parkinson’s charity Pilgrim Bandits aims to help and inspire wounded soldiers to live life to the full, by whatever means possible, and is led from the front by Ben who attends as many events as he can.

The charity was established by a small group of Special Forces veterans in 2007, who had the aim of using their unique training and experience to help others. Visit the website to find out more or email admin@pilgrimbandits.org

The Nicola Hughes Memorial fund began after the Greater Manchester police officer was killed in a gun and grenade attack, along with colleague Fiona Bone, in 2012. Her father Bryn heads the charity and is keen for people to be aware of what it is trying to achieve for children who are left behind by the violent acts that rob them of a parent or family member. Visit Nicola Hughes Memorial Fund

 

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