3 June 2018
Gaming Industry Comes Together toTackle Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
GVC’s Andy Whitworth and Rob Fell successfully completed the Three Peaks Challenge on 9-10 June 2018 to raise money for William’s Fund – Duchenne UK, a charity which funds research and treatment of Duchenne, a rare form of muscular dystrophy affecting young boys. In completing the challenge the pair have raised over £36,000 to date, thanks to the incredible support from a huge number of companies and individuals in the online gaming sector.
The pair successfully scaled three of Britain’s highest peaks, Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden, in 23 hours and 46 minutes, squeezing in under the 24 hour challenge deadline. Whitworth and Fell were part of an 11-strong team of walkers who took on the challenge in support of Duchenne UK. The entire team completed the challenge within the 24 hour limit – an incredible achievement given that it is estimated that only 40% of those taking part finish in time. The full eleven were made-up of friends of Andrew Haycock, the father of two-year old William who is affected by the condition, along with Andrew himself.
Donations received by the end of the challenge were standing at £36,085.21 but have continued to increase following further exposure on social media after completion. Andy and Rob presented a cheque to Andrew and Jessica Haycock, William’s parents after completing the challenge.
Commenting on the challenge Andy and Rob jointly said:
“We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us in raising money for what is an incredibly important cause. In addition to extremely generous donations from friends and family, it was magnificent to see our gaming industry colleagues donating both personally and corporately. We would like to say a special thanks to the GVC Marketing team who donated £10,000 which kick-started the fundraising and also the top three donors – Red Tiger, Play n Go and Pragmatic Play – who became our ‘flag sponsors’.
“The gaming industry is not short of critics, but this goes to show the generosity of spirit of the people that work within it. A sincere thank you from both of us.”
Andy and Rob would like to put on record their thanks to:
Play n Go
1×2 / Iron Dog
Instant Win Gaming
In completing the challenge, Andy and Rob were faced with tough and varying weather conditions – from a sunny, hot, humid and airless atmosphere at the bottom of Ben Nevis, to snow and fog at the top, with the occasional fork of lightning and rumble of thunder in the near distance to add to motivation to complete the decent. Scafell Pike offered a mix of clear 1.00am skies and midges, while the ascent of Snowdon was tackled in intense heat.
The drives between the mountains presented their own challenges – windy roads with and nausea made refuelling for the next hill task in its own right, while a serious road incident on the A55 an hour short of Snowdon led to a standstill of traffic and a detour off the main roads.
In all the peaks were conquered in:
744m / 2440 ft (even though Snowdon overall peak higher above sea level the starting point for challenge higher than relative start point on Scafell)
12hr 30min walking
23hr 46min total challenge time including driving between mountains (with very limited sleep and hardly any food)
Following the event, Jessica Haycock, William’s mother posted:
“How do I put into words how wonderful I think you all are for taking our boy into your hearts and embarking on the Three Peaks Challenge. My hopes for William are not that different to any other parent – for my darling son to be happy, to have confidence, lots of friends and to be included. But since this devastating diagnosis ultimately, I hope he has a full life in whatever time together we have.
“What you have done is an incredible selfless act of kindness and has touched my heart not only as a mom but as a human being, you should all be so, so proud of yourselves and thank you from the bottom of my heart for buying our son potential. Potential for more time together, potential to see more wonderful moments as a family and potential for a cure. Thank you all for making a difference.
“What you have done for us will never be forgotten and the awareness that you have raised (amongst the fantastic donations) I hope will help people learn to understand more about our family, how we adapt for Duchenne and want us in their lives regardless. So thank you!”