PHOTOS: Wonder women! Mental health in Exmouth is given a boost thanks to 20-strong female team’s successful Three Peaks Challenge

An all-women group has successfully tackled the Three Peaks Challenge to raise awareness and funds for Exmouth mental health community group RV-ONE.

The 20-strong team of women from East Devon hiked up the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales – scaling Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours – raising more than £11,000 for the community organisation.

It is hoped the RV-ONE Three Peaks Challenge will become the organisation’s flagship annual fundraiser, giving people the chance to take on the feat fully supported.

Funds raised will go towards securing a base to store communal physical training equipment, as well as the kit itself – however finding a location has been unsuccessful and the group is appealing for help to find a base.

Exmouth

An all-women group has successfully tackled the Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds and awareness of Exmouth mental health community group RV-ONE. Photo: RV-ONE.

Exmouth

Photo: RV-ONE.

Exmouth

Photo: RV-ONE.

East Devon

Photo: RV-ONE.

East Devon

Photo: RV-ONE.

I thought it was going to be easy to find grants to help fund our work, but it hasn’t been…”

Marnie Pyne, aged 47, deputy headteacher at Exeter Road Primary School, in Exmouth, said: “I’m a one-hundred per cent believer that mental health is linked with physical health and the work that RV-ONE does in Exmouth is very much needed.

“We’re all becoming more aware of the need to look after our mental health and it’s wonderful to have a resource like RV-ONE in the town.”

She added: “The Three Peaks was an amazing challenge, both physically and mentally, and I’ve made friends I think I’ll always have.”

Exmouth

It is hoped the RV-ONE Three Peaks Challenge will become the organisation’s flagship annual fundraiser, giving people the chance to take on the feat fully supported.
Photo: RV-ONE.

Three Peaks

Photo: RV-ONE.

Three Peaks

Photo: RV-ONE.

Three Peaks

Photo: RV-ONE.

Three Peaks

Photo: RV-ONE.

Community Interest Company RV-ONE, founded in 2020 by Exmouth Royal Marine Tom Merriman, 36, a Physical Training Instructor at the Commando Training Centre, Lympstone, revolves around social interaction and physical training sessions as a way to boosting mental health.

Tom Merriman said: “I thought it was going to be easy to find grants to help fund our work, but it hasn’t been.

“We’ve applied for many, but haven’t been awarded anything so far, which has made fundraisers like this, essential.”

He added: “The Three Peaks Challenge is so hard – it’s a mix of fatigue, calorie deficit, blisters and soft tissue injuries – but it’s one of the most incredible challenges out there.

“We want to be able to continue to fundraise for the community while offering people the chance to complete this amazing feat. I’m proud of everyone who took part in our inaugural event.”

Exmouth

Photo: RV-ONE.

Exmouth

Photo: RV-ONE.

East Devon

Photo: RV-ONE.

East Devon

Photo: RV-ONE.

Kerri Cooper, aged 35, a regional account manager from Exmouth, said: “I’ve seen the impact poor mental health can have on my friends and family. For a long time, people haven’t wanted to talk about when they’re suffering mentally. When I was going through a difficult time in my life last year, I didn’t want to talk about it, but when I eventually did, I felt one-hundred per cent better.

“What Tom has achieved in such a short space of time is amazing; RV-ONE has built a supportive community in Exmouth and it’s having such an impact. I hope it continues to grow.”

She added: “The challenge was unbelievably hard, so to have a support network around you made all the difference.”

  • For more information about future challenges and social meet-ups, see here.

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