Chesterfield vets stunned as charity challenge smashed their target

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Staff from Chapel House surgery completed the gruelling Coniston Adventure Challenge in just under eight and a half hours and raised £3515 for the Guide Dogs For The Blind.

The day started early for Jenny Gibbons, 33, Kirsty Boam, 23, Vicki Smith, 22, all of whom are nurses, Rachael McCulloch, 22, and Joanne Smith, 35, who are receptionists, and Emma Rickers, 24, a vet as they made their way to the Lake District.

Jenny said: “It was much tougher than we thought it would be and we have the blisters and bruises to prove it.”

The group cycled 12km through Grizedale Forest which they described as a technically challenging ride. Then they did a hike up the Old Man Coniston, which is 2,634 feet or 803m high, taking six hours to complete.

“It was tough, really tough and we were all knackered as it was so steep and the summit didn’t seem to be getting any closer but we kept going,” said Jenny.

The final challenge was a quick kayak across Coniston Water and then their aching feet were soaked and they celebrated with champagne and sweets. The surgery chose to support the guide dogs as one of their friends needs a dog and they can see how much his quality of life has improved by having help.

There are nearly 4,800 guide dog owners in the UK and it can cost around £50,000 to train and keep the dog healthy.

Jenny added: “When we finished it was such an achievement for all of us.

“We trained hard and we were generously supported by people who all dug deep in their pockets to sponsor us, or buy raffle tickets. We set ourselves a target of £2,000 but we nearly doubled it which is amazing - so thank you to everyone who got behind us.”