The Geens Chartered Accountants charity team get set for gruelling ‘Longest and Highest’ challenge to raise funds for the Donna Louise and Dougie Mac

An accountancy firm, which has raised more than £50,000 for charities from a series of challenges, has unveiled plans for a fifth gruelling event this September. The Longest and Highest Challenge will see 12 colleagues from Geens Chartered Accountants row 11-miles across Windermere, England’s longest lake and climb Scafell Pike, the country’s highest peak. The challenge team will also cycle between the lake and mountain stages.

The complete event is expected to take between 12 and 15 hours and the Geens’ challenge team will be raising funds from sponsors to support The Donna Louise Hospice for Children and Young People and the Douglas Macmillan Hospice, both in Stoke-on-Trent.

Geens is one of the oldest firms in Stoke-on-Trent and can trace its history back to 1884. Some of the team have completed all five challenges, dating back to 2005 and including the Three Peaks challenge, the Potters ‘Arf marathon, a canoeing, cycling and hiking challenge in Snowdonia and the 2017 Lake District Ultra Challenge.

And for Director Karen Staley, this year’s challenge will be a race against time as she is currently recovering after breaking a leg in a skiing accident.

This year’s team includes four company directors, Steve Archer, Karen Staley, Dean Clacher and Chris Beeston and eight other members of staff; Jared Grounsell, Nicola Jolley, Matt James, Nicky Simpson, Josh Draycott, Alistair Currie, Aaron Knox and Mitch Washington.

Karen said: “Over five challenges we have hiked, cycled, rowed, abseiled and jumped our way to helping charities close to our heart. This year’s beneficiaries will be Stoke-on-Trent’s two hospices, both of which Geens has raised funds for over many years.

“Each trial has been fantastic for team building and staff morale, as we often train together, including cycling and hill walking in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Rowing across Windermere, England’s largest natural lake will be gruelling, particularly if the wind gets up, causing very choppy water.

“The event will also be a real personal challenge for me as I broke my ankle in five places and sustained a fractured fibia in a skiing accident.  I have completed all four previous challenges and am determined to be fit for this one.”

Alongside the Dougie Mac and Donna Louise, the Geens’ challenge team have raised funds for the North Staffs NHS Breast Care fund, Cure Leukaemia, Regain (a charity to support men and women who have become tetraplegic through a sports injury) and Parkinson’s UK.

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