This time next week, King’s Lynn-based mental health nurses Lucy Baker and Laura Salter will attempt to climb Britain’s highest mountain for Norfolk charity, Sue Lambert Trust. Here, they explain why the challenge is helping with their own mental wellbeing
Friends Lucy Baker and Laura Salter, who work as mental health nurses in the community, will attempt to climb Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, this time next week, in aid of Norfolk charity Sue Lambert Trust. King’s Lynn-based Lucy, 24, and Laura, 41, who work for the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust in the Crisis Resolution Team, will start the solo ascent towards the peak of Ben Nevis on Tuesday August 9.
At 4,409 feet, the climb has recently been named one of the most dangerous in the UK. A fact that isn’t stopping this determined duo, as they take on the challenge to raise money for Norfolk’s main charity offering support to survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence – Sue Lambert Trust.
As well as fundraising, Lucy and Laura say the challenge is also helping with their own mental wellbeing. Working closely together during the pandemic, and as NHS frontline workers, it was Lucy and Laura’s job to make sure people in Norfolk could still access the mental health support services they needed, from home. Reflecting on this time, they say they now realise how this period took its toll, especially when ‘normal’ trips to the gym and socialising were impossible.
Walking was one way they found a sense of release. And together, they made a pact to tackle some of the toughest mountain climbs to give them a personal goal to look forward to.
Last June, Lucy and Laura successfully climbed Snowdon for fun and now have their sights set on Ben Nevis in Scotland, a real test of both mental and physical strength and endurance.
Laura explains: ‘The nature of our job can be very hard going, and during the pandemic it was particularly relentless; walking in the countryside was our way to unwind. Climbing Snowdon last year gave us such a sense of achievement, so we decided to do Ben Nevis next and raise money for Sue Lambert Trust.
‘Through our work, we’ve both witnessed what Sue Lambert Trust does for people, helping survivors of sexual abuse to manage and move on from their personal trauma. People can self-refer themselves and decide when they feel ready to speak out and start therapy which is incredibly empowering and important. Sue Lambert Trust’s counsellors help people to heal and make positive steps after going through unthinkable experiences. And as one of the only specialist sexual abuse support services in Norfolk for both men and women, we see in our daily work how they offer a lifeline for so many.’
Lucy adds: ‘No doubt this climb is going to be tough, but so are we. We are a great team and have supported each other through difficult times. The motivation will be knowing that we are raising money for such a fantastic cause, and we can’t wait for those views at the top.’
Clive Evans is the Chief Executive of Sue Lambert Trust and says demand for the charity’s services sadly continues to grow, making fundraisers like this more vital than ever.
‘Every week, our team of professionally qualified volunteer counsellors see over 300 people in Norfolk for one-to-one sessions, and hundreds more victims of sexual abuse access support through group sessions. Every day, we are contacted by new people, reaching out for our free therapy, but, as a charity, our resources only stretch so far. We want to be there for everyone who needs us as soon as we can and so we’re incredibly thankful to Lucy and Laura for nominating us.’
To sponsor Lucy and Laura ahead of their scheduled climb of Ben Nevis on Tuesday August 9, go to Fundraiser by Lucy Baker : Sue Lambert Trust (gofundme.com). Also, visit Sue Lambert Trust.
Featured image of Laura Salter (left) and Lucy Baker climbing Snowdon last year.