Public Services students at Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form have completed a mammoth challenge – using our own Pendle Hill to hike the distance from base camp to the summit of Mount Everest to funds for charity!

Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form has an outstanding Public Services department and completion of the course is recognised as being a highly successful route into employment in the services, or to university and training. During the course, students learn about all aspects of life in the services, including the Armed Forces and the Police, Ambulance and Fire Services. A job in any of these sectors is high pressured and physically demanding and therefore, they require people who are both determined, hard working and dedicated. Students take part in theory lessons encompassing command and control, criminal justice, government and politics and land navigation and also a number of physical activities ranging from Ghyll climbing and orienteering, to circuit training and residential trips with the Army and Navy. Each year, students progress into the Services and onto degree courses such as Police and Criminal Investigation.

Each year, the College’s Public Services students have to choose a charity and organise and run an event as part of their programme. In previous years they have walked the Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge in a day, completed 24 hours worth of sport, and last year, they walked the equivalent of 3557 miles – the distance it would be from College to Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

This year’s event saw the students attempt a mountainous challenge! In teams, the students have hiked the same distance as it would be from base camp to Mount Everest’s summit! Using our own local iconic hill, the students were challenged to climb a route up Pendle Hill 6 times, which equates to the relative distance of 5749 metres. To bring more reality to what was already and arduous task in torrential rain, the team had to carry a dummy on one of their 6 laps. The Fastest lap was 39mins!

This year, funds raised will be donated to Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team’s Buy a Brick Campaign, which aims to build a new base for the service. Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team provide urban, mountain and moorland search and rescue for approximately 350 square miles in the Western Pennines and Lancashire. The team is self-funding and staffed purely by volunteers.

Curriculum Leader for Public Services, Neil Morville said, “Once more, we have been humbled by the dedication, tenacity and determination of our students. They have planned and executed a fantastic event and raised a fantastic sum of money for a very worthwhile cause.  If their commitment and willpower today is anything to go by, I have no doubt that many of them will go on to be very valuable candidates – not only in the armed forces, but for the Police, Fire and other rescue services.”