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INTREPID volunteers are being sought to ‘climb every (big) mountain’ in the UK – without even having to step outside – by two staff members who are continuing a charity mission.

Faculty of Health, Education and Society researcher Dr Alison Ward and International Student Support’s Nissy Cheema are organising a virtual National Three Peaks Challenge in aid of Age UK Northamptonshire.

The challenge usually involves physically traversing the three highest peaks of Britain’s home countries (Scotland’s Ben Nevis, England’s Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon in Wales), a walking distance of 23 miles (37 km).

It’s a formidable feat even for the most experienced of walkers, so Alison and Nissy are looking for plucky individuals to help them and add extra footsteps to reach their total distance.

Rather than heading outdoors, volunteers – either individuals or groups – are asked instead to climb as many indoor stairs as they can this March, registering their totals on the activity tracker app.

Alison and Nissy have created a Just Giving page so that volunteers, friends, family and others can donate. Prizes will also be awarded for those who achieve the highest number of steps and the highest amount in donations.

Alison said: “Nissy and I are completing a University Fellowship in Leadership for Social Change and part of this involves working with a charity and raising money for them. We started nice and easily with a good old cake sale last year and so far we have raised £740.

“It’s a great charity to support and we’re looking forward to completing our own personal physical challenge with the virtual peak trek. But even though Nissy and I enjoy a good walk, scaling the cumulative heights of all three of the UK’s tallest mountains is slightly out of our leagues.

“You don’t have to be a super athlete to sign-up, but we do want people to be comfortable and mindful of their health as they take part and we will provide every volunteer with further information about this.

“We’ll also hold regular support meets throughout the challenge. As they say, the only way is up.”

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