We're taking on London’s 10 Peaks to help those affected by hygiene poverty

As part of our brand new charity campaign Metro.co.uk Lifeline we’re organising a sponsored trek, taking on the London 10 Peak challenge, to help raise vital funds in support of The Hygiene Bank.

This week, we’re sharing the stories of some of our trekkers to find out why they’re taking part and how they’re feeling with less than a month to go.

‘Since Dad died, I’ve been looking for ways to continue his good work’

Megan Dennison, 31, Leytonstone

My dad, Jon, always strived to help others. He came from humble beginnings and worked hard to sculpt out an extremely successful career in aerospace and engineering.

Whether he was mentoring disadvantaged young people in his industry, or influencing his company’s investment in needy regional areas, he always wanted to give back – and I always wanted to be just like him.

In 2015, Dad died suddenly from a heart attack. It was such a horrendous shock for us all, and still is. I can hardly bear to think of life without him, but it’s so important that as one of his children, I do what I can to embrace who he was.

Since his death I have been looking for opportunities to continue his good work, which is how I came across Metro.co.uk’s Lifeline Challenge. Dad always forced us to go on huge walks as kids, so hiking London’s 10 peaks seemed fitting!

I have become a lot more active, especially during lockdown, so it’s a chance to do something physical and raise money for a cause that interests me.

I can’t imagine what it would feel like to not have the basic tools we all need to keep clean and healthy. It is unfathomable that in this day and age, such simple human requirements are still not widely accessible to all.

I’m definitely starting to get scared about the hike – it’s a very long way! But I’m sure it will all be worth it, and I can only hope my dad will be proud of me when I reach the end.

The world lost a good man in my father, so it’s only right that I try and continue what he started. As he taught me, we can all help someone in some way.

‘Doing the 10 peaks is my way of supporting my friend who set up The Hygiene Bank’

Ness Cowdrey, 46, Guildford

I’d been friends with Lizzy Hall for about 12 years when I received the text.

It was August 2018 and she messaged me and about 20 other friends after watching the film I, Daniel Blake. One scene in particular had left her inspired to help others, and with lots of us preparing for our children to go back to school, Lizzy asked that we donate anything we found that was unused or unwanted.

I gave things like deodorant to her, and after that got into the habit of looking out for buy-one-get-one-free offers, or anything on sale, and picking up three or four items for Lizzy. I haven’t stopped since.

In the last two years I’ve watched my friend grow The Hygiene Bank from something she ran at home into a national charity. I volunteered one Christmas, packaging up wash bags filled with essentials – we must have made around 600 bags and it really was a pleasure to do something I knew would genuinely make a difference.

I think it’s so important for schools to get involved too, so this year I am trying to introduce a collection bag in my youngest son’s school come December. 

Now I’ve signed up to take on the London 10 peaks next month, it allows me to support my friend in a way that’s more than just giving her products.

I’m really looking forward to it too and I think it’s a fantastic idea – an activity that’s doable for almost anyone who is reasonably fit. Not only is it an opportunity to do something a bit different, but it will also raise even more awareness for Lizzy’s charity.

Hygiene shouldn’t be a luxury – that’s something she has always been trying to promote. It isn’t something wealthy people should have, it should simply be how we all live.  

If you would like to make a donation to the Metro.co.uk Lifeline campaign in support of The Hygiene Bank, please click here.

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