While most would consider hiking up England’s highest mountain point once a challenge, Sarah Bilko has set herself the goal of hiking Scafell Pike 100 times to raise money for men’s mental health and suicide prevention. Once she has completed the challenge, which is sponsored by The Property Jungle, Bilko would have climbed an elevation of 97,800 meters, which is equivalent of summiting Mount Everest 11 times. Weather permitting, she aims to complete the never-before-attempted task in 32 days, having started on 27 June 2021.
Why would someone embark of a feat that has never been attempted before? “Working in male dominated environments and with personal experience, I know there is a serious need to actively encourage the men in our lives to open up with someone they trust, and for everyone to make time to recognise the signs and act to save someone’s dad, granddad, son, brother or partner before it’s too late. The project is to show that the challenge they face in their mind can get easier with help and support,” answers Bilko, who has been affected by these painful losses in her own life.
She adds that every life lost to suicide is a tragedy and it is the leading cause of death in men under 45 years old. “These horrific statistics mean that it’s likely that everyone knows someone affected by this silent pandemic and I am sure that everybody would want to help prevent future losses and do something about it,” Bilko comments.
Mike Smithson, CEO of The Property Jungle, who are sponsoring the challenge, says: “We are truly inspired by the epic challenge that Sarah has set for herself and are happy that we have been able to support her. She has now reached 71 consecutive climbs and usually makes three or four ascents a day. Most people would consider hiking Scafell Pike once in a lifetime an achievement, however, Sarah just wants to save lives and the more money she can raise, the more lives will be saved, so she just keeps going.”
Smithson says that so far, Bilko has raised just over £5,000 on her own, which is a good number but not a great number. “It is not enough for the good this can achieve or for the incredible effort she is making. So, we are asking the industry to consider making a donation. It does not have to be big, lots of people making small donations can make a really big difference.”
Donations can be made via her Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sarah-bilko10
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