Thursday, 15 March 2012

BrIT Girl: Ain't no mountain high enough

Assistant editor Britta O’Boyle has signed up to the Three Peak Challenge to do her bit in helping the construction industry

People who know me well would probably say that mountain climbing and I are not a match made in heaven. In fact, we would probably be at opposite ends of cupid’s arrow. But apparently, whether I put it down to a sugar rush from much chocolate or meeting the 4th European Iron Man champion (a retailer) on a recent trip,  I've decided to climb three mountains in 24-hours (as you do).
I give you permission to laugh; even my mother did when I informed her of my genius idea. Not to mention the man in the camping shop when I told him I wanted pretty hiking boots (it seems these don’t exist). But joking aside, me and my very bright new waterproof jacket (I’m going with a purple theme) and my very beautiful hiking boots have signed up to do the COINS three-peak challenge next month. Yes, I really am going to climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, along with five others from our publishing house (including K&B News ad manager Tom) in an attempt to raise at least 5,000 for the COINS foundation.
We aren’t the first to do this somewhat crazy challenge, and I’m sure we won’t be the last. Although saying that, it may be the first and last time I ever do it! Throughout the past nine years, over 250 companies and 3,000 people have taken part and it is said to be the construction industry's largest fundraising event, raising over £2.3million. The money has been used to build schools, homes and educate individuals in construction skills. This year is the 10th anniversary of the challenge and the COINS Foundation has pledged to donate £100,000 of the funds raised for five years to the first mortgage lending in Sub-Saharan Africa.
While the cause may not be KBB specific, the construction industry does impact our  industry and so I feel the pain it will cause me to climb these mountains will be worth it. NHBC figures showed that the total number of new homes registered remained static in 2011 compared with 2010, with figures declining in the final quarter to 21,152 compared with 27,262 in 2010. So it looks like the industry could do with a bit of help. And the chief executive of the NHBC, Imtiaz Farookhi said: “There is general consensus that the combined efforts of the housing and mortgage industries could have a positive effect on sentiment and volumes.” The more houses built, the more kitchens and bathrooms needed right? Therefore if raising money for climbing a few ‘big hills’ will help at all, then why not?
 Whether I ‘can’ climb these mountains is a totally different story, but I am sure going to try. Please wish me luck (and if you can afford to part with some cash,  please sponsor me too).

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