A Sheffield couple say they were driven by the harrowing stories of slavery survivors to take on a series of ‘brutal’ challenges.
John Slater and Jennie Swift, of Kelham Island, are preparing to complete a 136-mile duathlon, a 50-mile race across the Lake District’s peaks and a 24-hour mission to climb the tallest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales – all in the space of a few weeks.
They will be running, scrambling and cycling across Britain’s countryside this June in aid of the Snowdrop Project, a Sheffield-based charity helping slavery survivors rebuild their lives.
Having heard the terrible stories of modern day trafficking victims in the UK and abroad, and the courage they showed in the face of such horrors, the pair were determined to set themselves a punishing fundraising mission.
“Whatever we did, we felt there had to be an element of suffering both physically and mentally, to reflect the lives of Snowdrop’s survivors and those who are still being trafficked,” said John, a 41-year-old graphic designer who works at Rotherham Hospital.
“Of course we know these challenges don’t come close to anything they’ve endured but to raise money and awareness we felt pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones was a necessity.”
John and Jennie, who tied the knot last year, have been training six days a week and warmed up by completing this month’s Yorkshire Half Marathon in an impressive 1hr49mins.
The gruelling physical preparation has been topped up with a diet of Rocky movies to provide that extra bit of motivation.
John and Jennie are set to undertake the National Three Peaks Challenge on June 3, The Pig Ultra Duathlon on June 11 and the 10 Peaks Challenge in the Lake District on June 24.
Jennie, a 40-year-old school nurse at Rotherham Hospital, said: "We're both fairly active. We've done fell-walking and 10k races but neither of us has ever done anything this brutal.
"We know it's going to be hard but the wonderful work they do at Snowdrop has spurred us on to keep going."
To donate, visit www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/survivingforsnowdrop.