Six friends from Portadown and Richhill will next week be embarking on a challenge of climbing four mountains in four days.
The group, consisting of Neil Alton, Joel Best, Stephen Andrews, Lester Fiddes, Jason McFarland and John Myerscough, will be undertaking the climb from August 1-4 in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.
And helping them on their way will be perhaps the greatest climber of them all - Spiderman - at least a toy version, which team leader Neil is taking along at his son’s request.
The challenge is to climb the highest mountains in Northern Ireland (Slieve Donard), Scotland (Ben Nevis), England (Scafell Pike) and Wales (Snowdon).
None of the men has ever undertaken such a challenge and as preparation they have been getting in some practice with walks in the Mournes.
Neil chose to support the Alzheimer’s Society as his sister-in-law’s mother suffers from the disease.
He said, “Some 19,000 people have dementia in Northern Ireland. Dementia is a cruel disease, caused by diseases of the brain, that robs people of their lives. Currently there is no cure.
“Fundraising is vital in supporting Alzheimer’s Society support services, helpline, campaigns and research work, ”
The men will be getting a helping hand from Neil’s wife Stephanie who will be driving them to and from the boat and Neil’s brother Ian who will drive the men’s minibus between mountains.
Speaking on his decision to bring along Spiderman, Neil said, “My son Callum wanted to come with me but I know it is going to be hard enough on the mountains without having to carry a five-year-old up and down. The compromise is that he has chosen one of his toys for me to take up instead.”
Heather Lundy from the Alzheimer’s Society NI explained how fundraising can help local people living with dementia.
She said, “£500 could pay for five local people with dementia and their carers to go to the weekly three-hour Dementia Café sessions for one month, where they will feel supported by others living with dementia and gain knowledge that can help them cope better in their daily life.
“£1,000 could pay for 80 helpline callers to get support and information they need to live well with dementia.”
Anyone wishing to donate can do via www.justgiving.com/4mountains4days.