Going to great heights to raise money for LIVES

Joe Donocik, left, and Charlie Raynor hand over their Pike pounds to co-ordinator for the Benniworth area LIVES group Kevin troop, with, from left Ann Troop, Crossroads Inn Landlady Denise Norris, Kay Donocik, Jodie Troop and Paul Ferguson EMN-141027-100707001
Joe Donocik, left, and Charlie Raynor hand over their Pike pounds to co-ordinator for the Benniworth area LIVES group Kevin troop, with, from left Ann Troop, Crossroads Inn Landlady Denise Norris, Kay Donocik, Jodie Troop and Paul Ferguson EMN-141027-100707001
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Many people would plan a party or special meal for a 70th birthday, but two local men donned their boots to take on Scafell Pike.

South Willingham resident Joe Donocik wanted to do something special and when he got talking to friend Charlie Raynor he decided the only way was up.

And as well as marking this landmark age, the pair decided to raise money for their local LIVES group - achieving the princely sum of £1,320.

“I’m really surprised at how much we raised,” said Charlie, who comes from Cumbria and has been up England’s highest mountain more than 30 times.

“I am really proud of Joe; it wasn’t easy for him, but he persevered.”

It took the pair around four and a half hours to reach the 3,000-foot plus summit and a waterfall crossing half-way up proved to be a stumbling block when Joe’s vertigo kicked in.

“I couldn’t have done it without Charlie,” said Joe.

“I didn’t think I was going to get across the stepping stones at the waterfall - vertigo and bi-focals meant I couldn’t see where I was stepping, but Charlie gently coerced me and we made it.

“I admit I was totally unprepared for what it was.

“I had been walking 12 miles a day round here no bother, but six miles upward at a 45 degree angle was a very different story.

“I am just pleased to have done it and thanks go to everyone who helped us raise so much money for LIVES.”

And while Joe reflects on what he has achieved, Charlie is preparing to go up again to mark his 70th birthday in April.

Support for life-saving volunteers

The LIVES organisation is made up of volunteers based within local communities who are trained to respond to medical emergencies within their area.

And it is a response that could mean the difference between life and death.

The volunteers receive ongoing monthly training, together with a more intensive practical and theory assessment every year.

As an organisation, LIVES needs to raise £1 million a year to exist and each individual area group has to contribute to the main fund, as well as raising money to replace items used - such as defibrillator batteries and the most-needed and used item oxygen.

The Benniworth Group covers Benniworth, South Willingham, Hainton, East Barkwith and beyond.

It currently has four qualified responders and have welcomed a new volunteer, who is now undergoing their initial training.

The group has also thanked everyone at the Crossroads Inn at East Barkwith for their continued support.

Their latest bar top donation box contained £117 of change.