Friends take on Three Peaks Challenge to fundraise in memory of Fred Bennett, 14, from Dunchurch

Two friends from Dunchurch will be putting their best feet forward next week when they join the national Three Peaks Challenge – but with their thoughts firmly on a cause close to home.

We can do it... friends Drew Garaghty and Diana Medintu are joining forces to raise money for Don't Look Down, the special fund set up in memory of Fred Bennett, 14, from Dunchurch.
We can do it... friends Drew Garaghty and Diana Medintu are joining forces to raise money for Don't Look Down, the special fund set up in memory of Fred Bennett, 14, from Dunchurch.

Drew Garaghty and Diana Medintu are well-known in the village – Drew is a painter and decorator, while Diana works at The Square coffee shop – so when they decided to take on the challenge of climbing Great Britain’s three tallest peaks, starting on October 15, they chose not to support a big charity but pick something on their doorstep.

The Advertiser pointed them in the direction of Don’t Look Down, the special fund at Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group raising money for research into acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in memory of 14-year-old Fred Bennett from the village, who died in 2020.

In his mum Louise’s words: “From the day Fred was born he lived at full speed. He wanted to go higher, faster, with extra danger.”

And she added: “We have set up the Don’t Look Down Fund in the hope that more children will get the chance to live the life they deserve. We chose the name as to encompass Fred’s fearless and risk-taking attitude as well as conveying how difficult the whole journey is.

"Despite everything, Fred was determined to be as active, strong and risk taking as ever, and one thing that really stood out during his illness was his mental resilience and determination.”

As previously covered in the Advertiser, people have fundraised in that spirit in various ways, including skydives – and climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24-hours undoubtedly fits the bill as well.

Drew said: “I found an enthusiasm for walking and hiking during the covid lockdowns (when there was little else to do) so when my friend Diana asked me to do the Three Peaks Challenge with her it seemed like a no-brainer. I thought to myself 'how hard can this be?'.

"However, after many painfully early mornings and long journeys to the Malvern Hills for practice hikes I realised that this will be no easy feat. The challenge that the Three Peaks presents became clear, but we are determined to complete it. Not only for personal accomplishment but also for the amazing cause we are hiking for and we’re hoping for generous donations from friends, family – and hopefully a few readers of this article!"

And Diana added: “Taking on the Three Peaks Challenge has been something I have wanted to achieve as a way of pushing myself out of my comfort zone. To help raise funds for Don’t Look Down has added even more of an incentive to complete the challenge in 24 hours.

“The support and generosity of the community has given us the chance to spread the word about the resilience and determination Fred Bennett was known for.”

You can support them via their justgiving page, by clicking here or there are posters around Dunchurch with a QR code to make a donation directly from your phone.