A GROUP of friends have scaled mountains in memory of their much-loved friend.
The ‘Gin O’Clock team’ of Lloyd Williams from Bangor-on-Dee, Will Thomas from Johnstown, Tom McCusker from Overton and Ed Roberts from Johnstown, climbed Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon within 24 hours on Saturday and Sunday.
And they achieved it with two minutes to spare at 4.58pm on Easter Sunday.
They were friends of Michael Davies, of Willow Court, Acrefair, who took his own life last year aged 25, having battled anxiety and depression.
In completing their mission the quartet raised more than double the £2,000 they had targeted for Papyrus, the prevention of young suicide charity, and are still to add up the final total.
Afterwards they met up with Michael’s family and friends at the Buck in Bangor-on-Dee on Sunday evening.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Will said: “It was tough going against the clock, it was on our mind going up every mountain.
”Someone said it was -14 degrees centigrade on top of Ben Nevis, and there was certainly heavy rain and high winds which was tough, but we kept going and managed to have a gin on top of every mountain in memory of Mike.
“It’s incredible – I don’t know how we got down Snowdon in the end, we must have had a second wind, and it was so emotional when we finished.
“To see Julie (Mike’s mum), Joy (his grandmother), and his family and to make them proud was lovely, but it was so important for us to raise awareness.
“We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who sponsored us, everyone who donated or supported us in any way.
“We are incredibly proud and humbled to have done what we have and could not have done it without so many people supporting us.”
Michael’s mother Julie Grimes said she was proud of the efforts and achievement of his old school friends.
She said: “As Mike’s mum we’re very proud of what the team have done and clearly their love for Mike is evident from what they have done for him.
“We thank them from the bottom of our hearts.”
Michael’s grandmother Joy Adams said: “It wasn’t until they started their training that I realised how much they loved and missed Mike, we can’t thank them enough.”
Michael was a former pupil of St Paul’s in Isycoed and Ysgol Deiniol, Marchwiel, before studying at the Maelor School in Penley’s sixth form.
He went on to gain a degree in estate management at Glyndwr University, also working at Wickes DIY store – where he was known for his helpfulness and cheerful smile.
Michael went on to work for Westford Homes where he developed his construction skills and was a valued member of the team.
In 2015 he started working for WD Stant as a trainee quantity surveyor, where he excelled in this role and was liked and respected by all.
His family would like to thank the Buck House hotel in Bangor-on-Dee for hosting Sunday’s function free of charge, and for collecting for Papyrus throughout the evening.
Donations can be made to the team’s Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gin-oclock.
Their video challenge can be viewed at www.youtube. com/watch?v=TUrvpoh-15Q
The Papyrus website can be found at www.papyrus-uk.org/ and the Helpline number is 0800 0684141.