Gruelling climb to support vulnerable young people in Swindon

By Barrie Hudson - 26 February 2021

CharityClubs & Activities

A team from Swindon will climb Europe's tallest peak for an organisation helping vulnerable young people in the town.

Don Bryden is the founder of BEST, which provides the young people it helps with mentoring through sports and other activities.

In August he will be joined by BEST Operations Manager Craig Hiscock, boxing coach Paul Rogers and Don's son, Chris, on a gruelling guided ascent of Mont Blanc in the Alps.

The aim is to inspire young people, raise awareness of BEST and drum up support for the organisation from businesses and individuals.

Don is at pains to stress that he is funding the expedition personally, although the team would welcome extra outdoor gear and training.

He said: "The reason for doing it, quite simply, is that I want to stand on top of a mountain and shout out for the kids of Swindon.

"That is my first thought. I want to stand there and say, 'A 51-year-old man has climbed a mountain. You kids can climb anything. Anything can be achieved if you want to.'

"What we're hoping to do is encourage local businesses to support BEST financially. I'm paying for this. This is not about asking businesses to pay for a jolly. I'm paying for it out of my pocket.

"But what we're asking for is businesses things like helping us out with clothing, sports gear and training.

"It would be fantastic to have a set trainer to come and beat us up three times a week!

"We're happy to stand there on the top of the highest mountain and wave that company's flag or logo or whatever they've got."

"What we want to show everyone is that us oldies and a young bloke can do it, but the only way we can do it is by a team effort. You don't leave a man down."

The team expect to spend a total of eight days on the mountain.

BEST welcomes inquiries about its work and how people and organisations can help.

Don can be contacted on 07816 238194 and, and Craig on 07487 727695. 

The BEST website is

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