London cabbies, Scott Murray and Seb Philp, talk to TAXI about attempting the Three Peaks Challenge on 26 June 2021 to raise funds for the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans.
Tell us a bit about yourselves?
Seb: I’m 40 and have been a cabbie for 18 years. Scott and I met when we responded to a request from the Taxi Charity, for volunteer cabbies to take two veterans to Belgium to participate in the Waterloo Uncovered charity dig. We spent two weeks in Belgium and got on well and have kept in touch ever since.
Scott: I’m 33 and have been a cabbie for five years. I found out about the Taxi Charity by chance when I picked up one of their Vice President’s, Frances Wyhowska, from the rank in Sloane Square. She had told me all about the charity before I dropped her off at home and I was very impressed by what I heard and wanted to support them.
Why this challenge?
Scott: I phoned Seb to ask if he fancied doing the Three Peaks Challenge knowing that he would jump at the chance. He is a keen cyclist and very fit (although not as fit as me, but don’t tell him I said that), so I knew that he would relish pushing himself to do this challenge.
I climbed Scafell Pike, one of the three mountains last year, and had thoroughly enjoyed it and wanted to push myself to climb the other two. I am especially looking forward to reaching the summit of Ben Nevis to see if it still has a covering of snow in June.
What is the Three Peaks Challenge?
Seb: The challenge is to climb the highest peaks in England, Scotland, and Wales over a 24-hour period.
The three peaks are Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, and Mount Snowdon in Wales. It will be hard going as during the 24 hours we will have to walk 27 miles and climb a total of 3,000 metres. By attempting the challenge in June, we get the most amount of daylight over the 24 hours which will be a great advantage.
Our challenge will start at Ben Nevis at 5.00am, moving onto to Scafell Pike and we will finish by climbing Snowdon, aiming to have completed our descent by 5.00pm. We expect each mountain to take up to five hours to climb and descend and there will be a total driving time of ten hours depending on the traffic.
Will you be taking anything with you?
Scott: I’ll be a bit like a squirrel, as I will be taking lots of fatty snacks including peanuts, energy bars and avocado to give me additional energy.
How much are you hoping to raise?
Scott: Seb and I would love to raise £2,000 for the Taxi Charity. We know it’s been a hard year for everyone, but it’s been especially tough for the veterans that the Charity supports.
The veterans haven’t been able to get together to mark important dates including the 75th anniversaries of VE Day and VJ Day last year, and their much-loved annual trips had to be cancelled. The pandemic also meant that the charity’s usual fundraising opportunities were put on hold, so If you could donate, whatever the amount, we really would be very grateful.
Seb: I am not only a volunteer for the Taxi Charity, but I also sit on the committee and like so many charities across the UK we have had to put all our fundraising activities on hold for the last year so if we can raise some money, I know it will be put to good use.
How can people donate?
Scott: We know it’s been a challenging time for cabbies, but if anyone would like to donate, please visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/seb-scott3peakschallenge. Every little bit
will make a difference to the lives of veterans.
About the Taxi Charity
The Taxi Charity is run by volunteer London licensed taxi drivers and has been supporting hundreds of veterans since 1948. The charity arranges free trips to the Netherlands, Belgium and France, and days out to museums, concerts, or fundraising events in the UK, to catch up with friends and comrades.
For the last twelve months, pandemic restrictions have meant their events have had to be cancelled so the charity has made a huge effort to ensure veterans have received regular contact; sending out a greeting card each month, gifts to mark the 75th anniversaries of VE and VJ day, stockings at Christmas and arranging Guards of Honour at veteran’s funerals.
Volunteers have also helped with regular phone calls, food shopping, transport to hospital appointments, and more recently taking veterans for their Coronavirus injections.
To fund and facilitate their work, the charity is reliant on generous donations from members of the public, businesses and trusts.