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Six Siblings Scale Yorkshire Three Peaks To Raise Funds For Service That Flew Their Father

“We struggle to get everyone together at Christmas,” says eldest daughter Liz (now Mrs Daking).

But when their father Christopher (70) – a farmer from John O’ Gaunt near Twyford, Leicestershire – died unexpectedly in hospital after an operation to rebuild his badly broken leg, they were determined to do something to honour his memory.

So they got out their diaries, agreed a date, put on their walking boots and completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge which raised £4,800 for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance that flew their father to hospital after he was injured in a road traffic collision in November 2017.

“Our dad had been in hospital for two weeks when he died unexpectedly of a blood clot. He had undergone several operations on his leg after being airlifted to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.”

“We are all so grateful to the air ambulance for getting him to hospital so quickly because his injuries were very serious and he may have died then. But we got two more precious weeks with him before he passed away and we wanted to do something to pay back the cost of the mission to rescue our dad as the air ambulance is a charity and receives no government funding,” explains Liz.

The Yorkshire Three Peaks route is 24 miles (38.6km), and includes 1585m (5200ft) of ascent to reach the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in under 12 hours.

Liz and her two sisters and three brothers – Martin Riley, Jenny Chapman, Richard Riley, Thomas Riley and Jane Riley – have never spent time together without their spouses and children and really enjoyed the chance to do so.

“We had conversations while we were walking that we would never have had if we were with everyone else and we really enjoyed each other’s company. Doing the Challenge has definitely brought us all closer together again,” she says.

The family are hoping to do an annual fundraising challenge in memory of their father – and are already talking about a sky dive in 2020.