Here We Hike Again! Esker’s 2023 Charity Hiking Challenge

Charity Hiking Challenge

Learn about Esker’s latest gruelling charity hiking challenge, to raise money for a very worthy cause; Bridge the Gap, a children’s mental health organisation based in Derby, UK.

Following the success of our first Esker charity hiking challenge last year, we decided it only right to put ourselves through our paces once again, and of course we had to go bigger and better than before! (i.e. tougher and even more challenging!)

We all felt that this year we had to go that extra mile (or three!) to push ourselves even further and to really encourage everyone to dig deep for our chosen charity Bridge the Gap.

Bridge the Gap, is an Emotional Literacy based service, helping children to explore and understand their emotions, and to learn different ways of responding to these emotions. They are a non-clinical service, working to build safe relationships with children and young people, as well as those important to them; working longer-term with a child or young person for the best long-term outcomes.

Bridge The Gap kindly visited us at our office in Derby earlier this year to tell us about the work they do. This really resonated with some members of our team; either as parents of children who had faced similar challenges or recalling struggles they had as a child themselves. We were all in agreement that this was a truly worthy cause for our support, and with them being based right on our doorstep in Derby, any money we raised would make a difference in our local area.

With that in mind our challenge was set as a 30km, 3 Peak Hike, in the beautiful Peak District National Park! And the preparations began……

You can’t just walk into a challenge like this (pardon the pun!) without some preparation, and once again, the dedication and commitment of our Esker Team contributed to the success of the challenge. After numerous practice walks (including some very tough hills!), kit preparation and a large quantity of walking poles purchased, we were ready for the big day!

Saturday the 16th of September was a moody and overcast day in the Peak District, cool and dry, with mist, fog and strong winds up on the hills! It was an early start in the pretty village of Edale, Derbyshire. We had entrusted ourselves into the capable hands of local expert and qualified guide Adrian Close who had carefully planned this challenging circular route and was to accompany us on our hike. (Thank you for keeping us safe in the hills Adrian!) We initially met Adrian when he visited our office to provide some external training to the Esker Team earlier in the year.

There were eight members of the Esker Team participating in this year’s hike, and like last year, this group was made up from practically all departments of the business. Teamwork is key for something like this, and that understanding of how we all rely on each other in order to be successful is crucial, not just in a hiking challenge but in the workplace as well. The words of encouragement and support from the other members of the Esker Team who weren’t taking part in the hike really motivated us too!

So how did it go? Well, we all completed the 30km distance and 981m of ascent together as a team, in eight and half grueling hours! This included three challenging hill tops; Win Hill, Lose Hill (of which the climb never seemed to end!) and Mam Tor.
It was tough, but so very rewarding and such a great achievement. Despite the blisters and aching legs and feet, we all thoroughly enjoyed it and toasted our success with a well-earned drink back in the village of Edale!

The Peak District National Park is a beautiful place, and even with the zero views at the top of the hills due to cloud cover, there was still some amazing scenery to take in and I have no doubt this too helped us along!

As a regular hiker and lover of the great outdoors I am grateful to be able to share my hobby and its benefits. Walking, especially in such green and beautiful places is a real tonic for me and can play such a big part in our general wellbeing, both physically and mentally. There’s nothing quite like looking back and seeing how far you’ve come!

Most importantly, from the hike and other activities, we have raised £1500 for Bridge The Gap, of which they are very appreciative. I must say a huge thankyou to everyone that has donated.

As for next year, watch this space!

You can read more about Esker’s ESG initiatives here.

Laura Cook

Laura is an Administration Assistant at Esker UK. She has been part of the Esker family since 2019.

Read more insights from Laura Cook