A rescued walker is encouraging people to join him in a charity challenge to raise funds for the air ambulance that came to his aid.
Jonathon Ward, 28, of Chester-le-Street, County Durham, is urging individuals to take on a gruelling test of endurance in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) who airlifted him after a fall on a Lake District mountain.
Mr Ward, a website developer, was walking with friends at Scafell Pike when he slipped and fell around six feet, snapping his ankle in May last year.
He said: “I knew my ankle was broken as I could see the bone was sticking out underneath my sock. I think the adrenaline made me try to get up and walk but I soon knew I couldn’t and needed help. ”
Fellow walkers searched for phone signal to summon assistance and mountain rescuers and GNAAS made their way to the scene.
Mr Ward said: “Darkness and drizzle were beginning to set in so time was of the essence. I was given some morphine by the aircrew, who were fantastic, and then stretchered to the helicopter.”
He was helped from the mountain and taken to the air ambulance that had landed around 200 metres away, before being flown to Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, where he underwent surgery.
Now, Mr Ward hopes to give something back to the charity, by taking on the Ullswater Charity Challenge. This multi-activity test of endurance in aid of GNAAS is organised in conjunction with Cumbria-based outdoor activities provider, Distant Horizons.
Entrants will paddle a 12km circuit on Ullswater, scale Helvellyn via scrambles on Striding and Swirral Edges and then paddle back across Ullswater on May 24.
Ruth Davey, of GNAAS, said: “The event is set in stunning scenery and provides the chance to explore the valley by boat and on foot. We hope supporters come forward to push themselves and raise money for a great cause at the same time.”
Mr Ward said: “This will be the first challenge of its kind that I have done and now I’m recovered, I aim to get back in shape and hope lots of people join me.
“I see the air ambulance as the fourth emergency service and I think they deserve our full support. You never think you’re going to need it until you do. It is vital.”
To take part, participants must make a £60 non-refundable deposit to GNAAS and pledge to raise a minimum of £90 sponsorship.
All technical equipment is provided including boats, buoyancy aids and paddles.
For more information, contact GNAAS on 01325-487263 or email firstname.lastname@example.org