A TEAM of firefighters from Skipton are hoping to raise thousands of pounds for two charities close to their hearts by climbing the three highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales.

David Lynan, Tony Dryden, Tony Peel, Zobair Hussain and Martyn Hughes - and driver, Michael Langdale - have been putting in the miles for the last several weeks in preparation for later this month when they take on the gruelling National Three Peaks Challenge.

No stranger to climbing mountains, the firefighters have in the past climbed Ben Nevis and the Yorkshire Three Peaks as part of fundraising for the children’s charity, Candlelighters, but next week they face the challenge of climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, all in under 24 hours.

And, through their Justgiving page, they have already raised more than £830 for Breast Cancer Care and the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund.

Martyn said they had chosen to support Breast Cancer Care because of a fellow firefighter, Tanya, whose mother died from breast cancer and who herself has now been diagnosed with the disease. The wives of two former Skipton firefighters also had breast cancer, including one who sadly died after a short battle against the disease.

Tanya, originally from Lothersdale, has had both breasts removed and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. But despite that, the mother of twin boys is one of North Yorkshire’s elite firefighters based in Northallerton, and is planning to take part in the Death Valley Marathon in Canada once her treatment is complete.

“I can genuinely say that Tanya is one of, if not the, most amazing people I have ever met,” said Martyn. “Her selfless, caring personality and determination to succeed makes her stand out above the rest.

“Despite currently undergoing chemotherapy, once this is complete she is already planning to do the Death Valley Marathon in Canada, what an incredible lady. We would like to wish Tanya and thousands of other amazing ladies, a speedy recovery, and hope this small gesture will help a little.”

Martyn said the team would also be supporting the Danny Jones Defibrillator Trust, set up by Lizzie Jones, following the death in 2015 of her husband, professional rugby league player Danny Jones, who collapsed and died from an undiagnosed heart condition while playing for Keighley Cougars against London Skolars.

“In our line of work within the emergency services, sadly we see just how vital defibrillators are on all too regular occasions. We would like to help Lizzie, who is a truly inspirational lady who has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and funds for defibrillators to be supplied and fitted in all rugby clubs and wider communities,” said Martyn.

“Defibrillators cost around £1,000 each and provide potentially life saving treatment to anyone suffering a cardiac arrest. We wish all those effected by Danny’s tragedy all the best and hope this will go a little way to help Lizzie and her team to achieve their goal.”

The team will begin the National Three Peaks Challenge, one of Britain’s toughest outdoor challenges, on Saturday, May 24. To donate, go to: justgiving.com/teams/SkiptonFireStation2019