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Matt completes the 'Three Peaks Challenge' for Destiny Garden School

Matt Mcguinness, one of our UK sponsors of DGS, has climbed the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales!

MattMatt set off in the morning of the 23rd June at the foot of Ben Nevis, and completed the climb of Scafell Pike and then Snowdon the following morning. This was a great achievement - see his report below.

Matt loves to help the children at DGS and this challenge Thermometer has raised over £800, with gift aid £1,000. His challenge was to raise £600 but he has now far exceeded this!

Matt visited the school in Mombasa in November 2010 and you can read his report on the School website via this link. He knows first hand just how little the children have, and how important every penny is to them.

Matt's Report on his Challenge!

We started the challenge on Saturday.   The weather was appalling. The peak of Ben Nevis cannot be seen even on a good day, and this day was NOT good.  After flapping around for what seemed an eternity, getting ourselves prepared, we were finally on the footpath to be met straight away by a couple of men who had ALREADY been up that morning and were heading towards their next mountain.

 There were four of us in the group. I had managed to badger one of them (Michael Reader) to try to raise some money for DGS. Hopefully his money will trickle in soon. The other two (Tom and John) raised  money for their own different charity. 

Matt Ben Nevis was tough. It was a busy highway of climbers. Some of them in plimsolls, trainers, leather jackets and other gear totally unsuitable for the highest mountain in Britain. I was completely soaked at the end of it and so was all my gear. But I felt strangely full of energy and ready for the next peak. It seemed odd walking through so much snow near the top. The view was non-existent, there was a sense of anti-climax as we summited. At this point I wished that the other two had put more effort into their training, as they had slowed me and Michael down considerably and we were going to be hard pushed to make up the time later.

I was still raring to go  when we reached the  bottom  but unfortunately sitting in a car with my knees on my chin for the next six hours  sucked away at my enthusiasm and only served to give me cramp. I renamed johns cadillac "the reverse TARDIS" as it was roomy on the outside but had no room inside. John proceeded to try to make up time lost on the mountain by driving like a lunatic, overtaking at every opportunity and swearing at anyone towing a caravan or driving a campervan. By the time we arrived at Scafell Pike, all daylight had disappeared, it was still lashing down with rain, and my body had seized up. There were a few lonely souls in the car park, but the actual mountain was almost void of people as it was 23.30 when we went up. I was reluctant to get out of the car but had to force myself to leave its warm (if somewhat cramped) interior and get on with it.  So off we  trudged  into the darkness with serious misgivings about battery life in our headlamps, and a couple of snacks in our already sodden backpacks. This was not my most pleasant experience on a mountain, I can tell you. There were just a few headlamps in the distance that belonged to other climbers doing their own challenges.Matt on a wild night


The rain did not let up. It just changed from persistent to heavy, and back to persistent again.  We had to cross a swollen river that I admit to being very afraid of doing. It was only knee deep but moving fast and the gradient was steep. Also, it was pitch black and we were in the middle of nowhere. To add to my misgivings, we had met some climbers who had attempted it the previous day and turned back due to the conditions.

A million boulders later, we reached the peak. I kept jumping out of my skin as there were sheep up there that you couldn’t see until you had startled them, so they then startled me in return. It felt surreal knowing that at that particular point in time, we were the highest people in England. (but still no view). We stayed only long enough to take a photo and then did it all again in reverse (including the river again). Thanks to Michael who is great with gadgets and technology.…without his GPS we would still be up there.

It was getting light as we finally reached the bottom and fatigue was now creeping in. The midges that tormented and attacked me as I tried to get changed, prevented me from doing so. We just hopped into the car and escaped as quickly as our tired legs would take us. I then had to endure the worst hour of the whole trip as we continued on into the early hours of the morning, looking for somewhere to get dry (again) and knowing I was probably in for another soaking.

Apparently I did get some sleep at this stage…all 10 milli seconds of it. My head nodded forward about ten times as I took a turn at the wheel. On the plus side, I had some leg room. On the minus side I kept nearly falling asleep at the wheel. Eventually, I managed to get one of the others to take a turn as I was breaking matchsticks with my eye lids at this stage.

By the time we finally arrived in Snowdonia, we realised we weren’t going to quite make it in under 24 hours. So instead of getting stressed, we found a cafe, had a quick fry up and continued on at a less stressful pace for the final peak. We then saw a sight that had eluded us all weekend up to that point…the sun. It finally put in a brief appearance. The railway that takes the non-climbers to the top seemed very appealing at this point, but a challenge is a challenge.Matt at the top of Ben Nevis

I was impressed with both John and Tom at this stage. They looked like they were almost having fun as they approached the summit. It had been hilarious watching them try to spark up a fag at the top of Ben Nevis but now they seemed to actually enjoy a new phenomenon …fresh air and exercise.

The trip back down was tough on my knees but at last we had a view to enjoy.  We were all relieved to get back to the hotel in one piece.  We probably all looked comical as we tried to go up and down the stairs ( john needed the lift). The next big struggle was getting in and out of the bath. I could have done with one of those harnesses they have in care homes.

We all managed to stay up long enough for England to do what they always do best when they play football…lose on penalties, then we struggled upstairs one more time. I was out for the count almost instantly and knew nothing till the morning…the best and most deserved sleep I have had for many a year.

Thanks to those that sponsored me.  To those that didn’t, maybe having read this you may change your mind??

Further Donations can be made -

a) in person to Matt - on the Charity Sponsor Form

b) by emailing Matt with your pledge - mattmcguinness@talk21.com

c) by cheque made payable to 'Destiny Children' and sent to Matt or to the Charity - addresses below

d) an online transfer to Destiny Children's account; details below

e) by emailing us at  with a pledge

f) via our PayPal account, using your credit or debit card or your PayPal account, see link in 'can you help' 


Gift Aid Logo* if you would like Destiny Children to reclaim tax on your donation, please let us know. You understand that you must pay an amount of income tax or capital gains tax at least equal to the tax reclaimed by the charity.


Charity Address and Account details:-

Destiny Children
1 Manor Crescent
SK10 2EN
United Kingdom


Destiny Children Account:

Bank account number:  39764796 
Bank Sort Code number:  01 05 41
Name of account:  Destiny Children
Name and address of bank: NatWest, Macclesfield Branch
                                      PO Box No 65
                                      2 Chestergate

Matt Mcguinness's Address

61 Dines Close
MK45 3BU

DGS Children

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