Not for Profit

Published: May 8, 2022 | Updated: May 8, 2022

The Peaky Climbers to scale new heights to raise awareness and money for Dorset Mind

Posties Lloyd Cleal (left) and John Foote (right) with (l-r) Lindsey Cumpstone of The Trading Post; Dorset MIND supporter Janet Fletcher, 80; Linda O’Sullivan, CEO, Dorset Mind, and Richard Cumpstone. Picture: Dorset Biz News.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Posties John Foote and Lloyd Cleal notch up a combined 120 miles of walking every week just for work.

But now they’re scaling new heights as part of a nine-strong team tackling the three highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales.

And all in the space of 24 hours.

The Peaky Climbers, who come from Bridport, Lyme Regis and the surrounding area, are raising awareness and money for Dorset Mind, the county’s own mental health charity.

The challenge coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week from May 9 to 15.

This year’s theme is loneliness.

Father of two John, pictured left, who turns 46 on the day the team hope to complete their challenge, said the idea started about 20 months ago.

He said: “I’ve always been an active sort of person and believed in exercise and a healthy mind.

“It’s always helped me.

“If I ever get a bit down I go out running or walking.

“Lloyd knew what I did and we got together with some other lads and started walking every Sunday.

“It worked well but we both wanted a challenge – and this is the result.”

The ages of the walkers range from 21 to 51.

They include Lloyd’s brother, Lee, and also Richard Cumpstone of Bridport’s family-run outdoor clothing and footwear shop, The Trading Post.

Other members of the team are Tommy Craven, Charlie Fowler, Richard Lawless, Graham Padget and Joel Wilkins.

Shaun Annetts is the driver, responsible for getting the team from peak to peak.

John, who has been a postie for 20 years, said: “As it’s got closer, I do feel a bit daunted now.

“Lloyd and I are probably the glue that keeps everyone together.

“We hope the team get the chance to get to know each other and talk.

“I worked for Mind in the past and it’s always been close to my heart.

“On the very first walk we chatted about how we were feeling down.

“You can quite easily get into a downward spiral.

“We both felt better after getting out, doing some exercise and having a chat.”

Lloyd, 34, a postie for 18 years, pictured right, said: “I’ve been excited about this for ages but now it’s close, I’m getting a bit nervous.”

Richard, who grew up in the Canadian mountains and came to the UK 25 years ago, said: “I can’t wait to get going.

“I’m feeling a bit nervous as well.”

The challenge starts at Ben Nevis in Scotland at 5pm on Monday, May 9, followed by Scafell Pike in England about 3am on Tuesday and, finally, Snowdon in Wales about lunchtime.

Linda O’Sullivan, CEO, Dorset Mind, pictured with John, Lloyd and her dog, Rupert, described The Peaky Climbers challenge as “phenomenal”.

She added: “There is an absolute correlation between exercise and the impact that can have on mood.

“The majority of people who take their own life in Dorset are men – and the rate is unacceptably high.

“The Peaky Climbers are helping to raise awareness about exercise and the importance of talking about their feelings.

“It’s a phenomenal challenge and we wish the team every success.”

  • To donate to Dorset Mind please click here.