Maritime Charity Sails Towards Fundraising Target

Banstead-based maritime charity, the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, has raised nearly £4,000 in support of the charity Seafarers UK by completing the annual 24 Peaks Challenge.

The team of caring and estates staff from the Society’s specialist maritime nursing home, Belvedere House, put in months of preparation and training to compete in one of the nation’s most gruelling challenges. All money raised goes to support the national maritime charity Seafarers UK, which has been helping people in the maritime community for a century.

Competitors confident enough to take on the challenge had 24 hours to scale 24 peaks, covering 31 miles across the Lake District and climbing some of the highest mountains in England, including Scafell Pike. Although injuries took their toll on the team this year they still managed to complete all 24 peaks in just over 24 hours.

The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society was one of six teams out of 24 to complete the challenge last year and is close to beating the £4,300 it raised in 2016, having already raised 66 percent of the £6,000 target.

This year was Estate Manager Richard Condie’s second time competing, with Nick Potroanchenu from maintenance and Kim Tema, a Care Assistant, tackling the challenge for a third year in a row.

Newcomers Jenny Tema and Roberto Iannella competed for the first time and were put through their paces training hard in the lead-up to the event by walking, running, going to the gym, and climbing Box Hill in Surrey.

The Royal Alfred Seafarers' Society 24 Peaks Challenge Team training hard in Surrey - Seafarers UK

The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society receives support from Seafarers UK, which helps the home provide housing, residential and nursing care to former seafarers, their widows and dependants, which it has done for more than 150 years. These services include nursing, support, respite and dementia care, all onsite at its estate in Surrey.

Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society Chief Executive, Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt, said: “This was the third year in a row we have entered a team for this gruelling challenge and we are so grateful to have received an abundance of support from everyone.

“The intensity of the challenge in turn makes it very rewarding for the team and all money raised is for an incredible cause. We wouldn’t be able to provide our residents with the level of care we do if it weren’t for organisations such as Seafarers UK. We encourage everyone to keep donating to this charity which continues to support us and our mission to provide seafarers with a safe haven in old age, illness or diversity.

“We will continue to push towards our target with our upcoming events such as ‘Belvedere’s got Talent’ and our ever popular Quiz Night.”

Seafarers UK gave more than £2.5 million in grants in 2016 to 72 maritime welfare charities, providing vital support to 170,000 people across the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets. The charity receives no government funding and is heavily dependent on public donations and legacies to maintain its grant-making programme.

To donate to the Royal Alfred fundraising team, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/RASS1865.

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