In Peak fitness

2012 is the Toy Trust?s 20th anniversary year and to mark the occasion, the charity is organising the Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds in aid of Medic Malawi. Katie Roberts caught up with chairman Nick Austin to find out more...
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On Friday July 6th at 5.30pm, 95 toy and licensing execs will attempt to climb Mount Snowdon in North Wales for what will be the start of a gruelling 24-hour challenge that will also see the group climbing Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis.

So why is everybody doing the Three Peaks Challenge?
Well we decided that in the 20th anniversary year of the Toy Trust, we’d like to take on a really big and important project and we chose to partner a great UK registered charity called Medic Malawi – www.medicmalawi.org – with whom we are going to build and run a brand new orphanage to house 40+ young and vulnerable children whose parents have died from either malaria or HIV.
We need to raise £100,000 to do this and the Three Peaks Challenge will hopefully raise the majority of the money via sponsorship of the 95 participants. Also some of the money raised by Andrew Brown’s record-breaking Atlantic Challenge will go towards this project.

Give us some facts and figures on the Three Peaks Challenge.
It requires climbing the highest peaks in Wales, England and Scotland in 24 hours; nearly 750 miles of driving, over 14,000 feet of ascents and descents, no sleep and probably lots of blisters and aching knees and ankles. We aim to raise most of the £100,000 through sponsorship of the 95 climbers who are signed up, so if you are reading this and feel inspired to help, then please support online somebody you know who is doing the trip or send a cheque to the Toy Trust.

Why do you think so many people have volunteered?
Firstly because it is a truly inspiring and uplifting experience and will be great fun, something people will remember for the rest of their lives. 

Secondly, I think sometimes that hard working, high achieving people feel the need to break out and do something a little outside their comfort zone and something that’s good for the soul. 

Thirdly, I think there are a lot of big-hearted people in this industry who genuinely want to give something back to disadvantaged children. How many times in your life can you make such a profound and immediate difference to some of the poorest children on the planet?

Can you tell us a little more about Medic Malawi charity?
Medic Malawi is a truly inspiring charity. It was started ten years ago by a British couple who built a small hospital in one of the poorest areas of Malawi, 100km north of capital Liliongwe. An orphanage was then added to house parent-less young children and then a school naturally followed on.

The charity runs all this work on just over £100,000 per annum from small donations from UK supporters. However, they desperately need to build another orphanage and that’s where the Toy Trust kicks in. We hope to start building the orphanage in the summer and finished by September.

How do you know that 100 per cent of everything you raise will go the building and running the orphanage?
Medic Malawi is a truly amazing and efficient charity. It is run by volunteers, has zero administration costs and no paid fund-raisers. Therefore every penny we raise will go directly to the new orphanage. 

That is very reassuring, I’m sure, for the 95 people who are signed up for the trip and busy raising funds as we speak.

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