Dom abandons his shoes at the mountain base as he takes on Three Peaks Charity Challenge barefoot
Fearless fundraiser and avid walker, Dominic Atkiss, has just completed a challenge that turned many heads in the process. The 27-year-old from Rowley Regis in the West Midlands, recently completed the national Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for bereaved Forces children’s charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, and he did it barefoot!
No stranger to shoeless rambling, Dom climbed Snowdon barefoot two years ago for Scotty’s and this year decided to take it a step further by climbing, not only one, but all three of the highest peaks in the country, all without wearing any shoes.
Dom completed his challenge over the bank holiday weekend (31st May), one of the hottest weekends of the year so far, and in doing so raised almost £3,000 for Scotty’s.
The charity, which offers integral support to children and young people who have experienced the death of a parent in the Armed Forces, holds a special place in Dom’s heart. He said:
“I lost a good friend of mine five years ago, he was killed while on tour in Afghanistan. His son has been supported by Scotty’s ever since, so I know just how important the charity is to the military community. I’m always keen to help in any way I can.”
Scotty’s Little Soldiers was set up in 2010 by war widow Nikki Scott. Nikki saw the devastating impact the death of her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, in 2009 had on their two young children and wanted to help others in the same situation.
The charity is currently providing assistance to hundreds of bereaved Forces children and young people around the UK and services offered include guidance to parents and carers, access to professional child bereavement support, personal education and learning assistance (including grants) and fun activities such as holiday respite breaks and group events. These are all designed to remind the children and young people supported by Scotty’s that they are not alone.
With support from his dad, Simon Atkiss, cousin Tyler Wroe and Captain Donnie Harris, from 22 Field Hospital, based at Aldershot, Dom completed the arduous Three Peaks Challenge in around 29 hours.
He also gave bank holiday walkers something to talk about, with many stopping him along the way to question him on his choice of footwear, or lack of it.
“I definitely got some funny looks along the way, but also many people stopped me to ask me what I was doing and donated at the same time, which was amazing. It was definitely a lot more challenging than Snowdon and the weather was really mixed. I had brilliant sunshine, then a foot of snow at one summit, so my feet have certainly been through it.”
Since the weekend, Dom has given his feet some pampering including plenty of ice baths and sitting with his feet up.
Commenting on Dom’s challenge, Scotty’s founder, Nikki said:
“Dom has really pushed himself this year, and what an amazing job he’s done. There are not many people out there who would voluntarily walk up one, let alone three mountains, without wearing any shoes, but what a great way to raise money and to get people talking about Scotty’s. We’re so grateful for everything he’s done and the amount of money he’s raised. Every penny will go a long way in helping us continue to deliver a high level of support to bereaved children and young people in the Forces community at times when they need it the most."