Hartlepool friends transform into Lord of the Rings characters to climb 10,000ft in a day in memory of close friend
Lifelong friends of much-loved teacher are embarking on an ambitious challenge to help set up a foundation in his name.
Lewis Boyd-Hill, from Hartlepool, tragically took his own life earlier this year, prompting his close friends to turn their grief into something positive.
Over the course of 24 hours on July 16, the fellowship of 30 friends will don Lord of the Rings fancy dress as they attempt to climb the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales to help raise money for a foundation in Lewis’s name.
The secondary school history teacher was a huge fan of JRR Tolkein’s stories and loved being outdoors.
Daniel Oram 29, also from Hartlepool, who was one of Lewis’s closest friends, said the idea came when the group took some flowers to the top of Roseberry Topping, near Guisborough, following his funeral.
Daniel said: "We took the flowers up to Roseberry Topping and then we decided why don’t we do the hardest challenge that we can in the country and why don’t we tie it in with Lord of the Rings and try and get some money for a foundation.”
The pair, from the Burn Valley area of town, were friends since nursery school and Lewis was best man at Daniel’s wedding in 2019.
Daniel has described Lewis, who taught at Outwood Academy, in Normanby, as “was the smartest and wittiest person you’ve ever met”, adding: "It’s a generic thing to say, but he was just all about having a laugh and I think that’s why we’ve realised that suicide can affect anyone, because he constantly made people laugh, but deep down he was struggling and nobody knew.
"He would lighten up people’s day, but deep down he was obviously having his own struggles.”
Health and safety advisor Daniel added: "It was an honour being his friend for the past 24 years.”
The foundation, called the Pieman PT Foundation after one of Lewis’s nicknames, will set out to help people suffering from mental health issues.
His friends hope to raise £20,000 to help Lewis’s family get the foundation started.
In a day, the group will climb and descend Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, with designated drivers taking them from one destination to the other.
You can donate by going to www.gofundme.com and searching for Pieman PT Foundation.