Earlier this month, ten employees from Acre embarked on the Welsh 3000s Challenge. 14 mountain tops, 24 hours of trekking, and several energy bars later, we can confidently say that the challenge was the hardest (and scariest?) any of us had ever attempted, but our motivation came from knowing that the pain endured was all for a cause very close to our hearts.
At the beginning of 2018, Acre teamed up with Jo Ruxton, executive producer of the documentary, A Plastic Ocean, and co-founder of the charity, Plastic Oceans (PO). Together with Ruxton and her team, Acre is supporting PO in its efforts to develop educational programmes and conduct scientific research to tackle the exponential growth of plastic pollution in our oceans. Acre aims to raise £15,000 towards the cause through various initiatives, including the Welsh 3000s Challenge.
Richard Wright, chief executive of Acre, said, “Not only are we extremely proud to support such a worthy cause, the challenge provides us with an amazing team-building opportunity, upholding Acre’s values surrounding well-being in the workplace. The ‘chase to fitness’ within the business leading up to the event was very competitive, and fantastic to witness and be part of.”
In the early hours of the morning on the 5th October 2018, the Acre team set off to conquer the rocky, arduous Snowdonia mountains amidst inevitable damp, treacherous conditions. Over the next 24-hours, they managed to summit all but one peak of the challenge (the elusive 15th!), which is no small feat given that the trek is notorious for being extremely difficult even for the most experienced mountain walkers. According to Acre’s Head of Research, Chloë Hunt, rather than discourage the team, this knowledge only added to their motivation to support their cause.
Hunt shared, “We all anticipate a hike or trek with a nervous, sometimes fearful, feeling of uncertain agitation. This particular challenge was exacerbated by the sheer physicality and technicality of the mountains that we had to climb. It was probably the hardest expedition that I have ever undertaken. Knowing its purpose was to support one of the most influential, ambitious causes that’s galvanizing a collective action to change the world’s attitude towards plastics kept me going.”
The added benefit was the landscape. Kendra Blumsky, Acre’s operations manager, added, “Even though it was extremely tough, the experience served as a rewarding way to remind us of the beauty that our planet holds and why we need to protect it.”
While we wish that we could have summited the elusive 15th peak within the 24-hour timeframe but harbour nothing but pride for our accomplishments. We're uncertain as to whether or not we would ever attempt the challenge again, but there is one thing that we know for sure: our fight against plastic pollution has only just begun.