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Group tackles Peaks challenge

PUBLISHED: 18:23 28 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:29 06 July 2010

AN intrepid group of friends and colleagues are preparing to conquer the three highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales for charity - driven on by the memory of Lowestoft man who lost his life to cancer.

AN intrepid group of friends and colleagues are preparing to conquer the three highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales for charity - driven on by the memory of Lowestoft man who lost his life to cancer.

The six-strong group will head north from Suffolk next Friday to take part in the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge, tackling the slopes of Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Mount Snowdon within 24 hours.

The climbers hope to raise hundreds of pounds to share between Cancer Research UK and the East Anglian Transport Museum at Carlton Colville in memory of Paul Burgess, who died from cancer at the age of 52 last year.

Mr Burgess, father to two of the group, was an active supporter of the museum from the age of 14 and his ashes will be interred there this summer. There are also plans to open a small memorial garden at the museum.

The Three Peaks trip has been organised by Christina Easter, 30, practice manager at Alexandra and Crestview Surgeries in Alexandra, Lowestoft, whose staff includes Paul's 21-year-old daughter Claire Burgess, from Carlton Colville.

“The idea came about not long after Paul had passed away,” Christina said. “I knew Claire had done some climbing in the Lakes during the summer and thoroughly enjoyed it, and having done the Three Peaks myself last year I suggested to Claire we could do this in her dad's memory to raise some money for charity. I was pretty certain she'd think it was a crazy idea, but she was keen.”

Also in the group are Claire's brother David Burgess, 24, from Carlton Colville; Claire's employer Dr James Atkins, 49, from Lowestoft; and family friends Andrew Cressey, 32, from Pakefield, and Leon Gooch, 30, from Carlton Colville.

Their transport has been paid for by Paul's widow Lynn Burgess, and their driver is Keith Edwards, who is giving up his free time.

After driving to Leeds next Friday, the group will head for Scotland on the Saturday morning and begin by climbing Ben Nevis that afternoon. They will then head to the Lake District to tackle Scafell Pike before climbing Snowdon on the Sunday.

The climbers have prepared by doing long beach hikes, cycle rides, walking the Lowestoft Scores and general fitness training.

“We are all very excited, but also apprehensive,” Christina said. “Dr Atkins and I have done it before and know just how hard it is…It's also going to be very emotional, particularly for Claire and David.”

She added: “Paul would be so proud, especially since half the money raised will go to the transport museum.”

To sponsor the team, contact Christina Easter at the Alexandra and Crestview Surgeries on 01502-526079, or visit www.justgiving.com/paulburgesspeaks

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