Dancy Climbs Everest for the NHS

With Marlborough’s annual ‘Super Sunday’ charity day cancelled and the world in lockdown, Dancy decided to come up with an alternative way of fundraising. What better cause could we think of than the NHS! During these really strange and difficult times, it seemed crucial for us to contribute as much as we could to give any kind of help to those working tirelessly to save lives. In addition to this, my auntie Alex has been working as a physio in the Intensive Care Unit at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London. She also suffered from Covid herself and has recovered to then go on and help those who are struggling. This fundraiser really meant a lot to me personally, and I’m sure to many others who have been or know people affected by this virus.

We needed to find a task that was challenging enough to deserve sponsorship but possible to do in the confines of our houses. We wanted to do something that could involve everyone (including families) and if possible, something a little unusual. The idea came to me that we should “climb Everest” by ascending enough stairs at home to equal the height of the great mountain. This took place over the Exeat weekend, (Thursday 7th May- Sunday 10th May), giving everyone time to stretch and breathe ahead of the strenuous ‘journey’. This also gave a way for people to spread climbing the stairs over a few days. My nanny, 72, after having had her knees replaced 3 times, wanted to contribute and made her way up the stairs 10 times over the long weekend!

Mount Everest is 8,848 metres high. There are 71 people in Dancy (including our resident house tutors and housemistress). Therefore, we asked everyone to climb 818 stairs each. Assuming an average house has around 20 stairs, everyone needed to traverse up 41 times!

The Bokhari Family divided the task and “shared their stairs”. My Mother was first off the blocks and completed her set early on the first day of Exeat, the rest of us slowly following behind. Miss Bingham took to the Dancy Twitter to share her solo ascent of the Chapel stairs, Mrs Lane scaled the Dancy staircase (accompanied by walking poles), but a huge thanks must be said to the Kiggell family for playing such an active part in the challenge as well.

Our initial target was to raise £700. Unbelievably, we achieved double this and the money raised was £1,420. This brings such genuine joy and happiness as we came together as a whole, to do something so positive. Having an impact, however large or small, in the world to help those who really need it, is a feeling that nothing else can match.

Although our legs may still ache, and the initial thought of any form of tiresome exercise seemed unachievable at the time, I couldn’t be prouder of what we have accomplished.

Thank you to everyone for their support.

Marina Bokhari (DA L6) and the Dancy girls.

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