GPs, receptionists and dispensers from a doctors' surgery are facing a massive test of endurance when they take on the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money in memory of a much-missed member of staff.

Staff from Windrush Medical Practice will be completing the expedition to raise funds for Crohn's and Colitis UK which was a cause close to the heart of healthcare assistant Natalie Simpson who sadly passed away in 2020.

Dr Laura Colston said: "Nat was a much loved and valued member of our team at Windrush. She worked as a healthcare assistant for us from 2012.  She had the most amazing personality. Her sense of humour and laughter was infectious, and she cared passionately about helping other people, whether that be her patients or us her colleagues.


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"When she passed away in November 2020 she left a massive hole in the practice, and we all still miss her dearly. Her family are supportive of our challenge attempt, and her mother and sister are coming to see us off on the Friday."

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The National Three Peaks Challenge on July 1 - 3 is an event in which participants attempt to climb the highest mountains of England, Scotland and Wales within 24 hours.

Walkers climb Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike in turn, and are driven from the foot of one mountain to the next. 

The idea was born after the practice in Welch Way started a Wellness Committee at the height of the pandemic last July to look at initiatives and activities to promote staff wellbeing.

Dr Colston said: "One of the first things we discussed was the potential of starting up a walking group, and that concept very quickly and naturally evolved into getting a group of staff together to try to do the Three Peaks Challenge in memory of Nat."


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The 'Windrush Walkers' are a mix of 15 staff from across the practice - nurses, doctors, reception, dispensary and admin teams with varied walking experience from complete novices to experience hill walkers.

Together they have been undertaking monthly walks together to train, including a weekend in the Lake District in May.

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Dr Colston said: "We are aiming for £6,000 and are currently on £4,000.

"On a personal note, as group leader, I am so proud of my colleagues for taking on and embracing this challenge, especially those with limited experience, with some having had to overcome significant personal fears to do so, and to honour Nat."

The walkers are leaving the practice around midday on Friday July 1 to drive halfway up that afternoon, staying overnight on the M6 and continuing to Fort William to start walking up Ben Nevis around 5pm on the Saturday.

"All being well we will finish Snowdon within 24 hours later," she said.

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