On 10 November 2023, the Workplace360 team joined over 100 members from the UK business supplies community to raise money for the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR). Continuing the long-running Climb of Life (COL) initiative – now in its 36th year – industry peers once again hiked some of the most challenging peaks in the UK’s Lake District.
This year’s theme of The Base is Ace – Supporting the ICR from the Ground Up celebrated a return to the spiritual home of COL, the newly refurbished Swan Hotel in Grasmere. Although the area saw torrential rain on the evening preceding the climb, participants awoke to relatively clear skies the next day. Such conditions have only been seen once before in the history of the event, according to veteran climbers.
Nevertheless, warm layers remained a necessity as temperatures at the top of the mountains and towards the end of a long day dropped, with some climbers finishing their descent long after sunset.
Only one week before the team arrived at ‘base camp’, Storm Ciarán had swept across the UK, of course, leaving snow and ice on the peaks of Scafell and Helvellyn. Remaining rainwater, meanwhile, made for tricky terrain when ascending already unsteady rocks.
A noble mission
The intrepid climbers, as ever, remained positive and kept the charitable cause foremost in their minds. And it’s easy to see why. With a predicted 28 million new cancer cases worldwide each year by 2040, the ICR’s research is crucial to better the odds of prevention, recovery and cure.
COL organiser Philip Lawson said: “Cancer continues to affect us all, with one in two of us contracting the disease in our lives and all of us knowing someone who suffers from it. Finding treatments that extend lives and keep cancer in check is something humanity should strive for.”
There was a supportive ICR presence at the event, including former CEO Professor Paul Workman who explained 98% of the funds go directly into further research. In addition, the collaboration between the ICR and the Royal Marsden Hospital means developments can go directly from research laboratories into treatment rooms and vice versa.
Last year’s COL raised approximately £50,000, with climbers keen to surpass this already impressive figure in 2023. And so they did. Thanks to generous donations, the combined monies this year came in at over £71,000.
More than £20,000 of the total came from the Workplace360 team, making it the top fundraiser. Other substantial contributors included Avery, Egan Reid, Hamelin and Raby Estates.
The fundraising momentum continues with COL founder Graeme Chapman MBE announcing the launch of his book, By Thumb to the Lowest Point on Earth. All sales proceeds from the book will be evenly split between COL and the BOSS Business Supplies Charity (read Chapman continues charitable pursuits for more details).
Since its inception, COL has raised over £1.94 million and with the £2 million mark in sight, Lawson confirmed the event would be back in 2024 for a “landmark year”.