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Thales takes on Three Peaks for Muscular Dystrophy


Starting at 0745 on 12 June five members of staff from Thales UK will take on the legendary Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy campaign. Two other members of staff are supporting the team as drivers, and the whole team is raring to go.

Staff from three of our sites – Weybridge (Lou Gilpin, Sam Keayes and Ben Clifford), Crawley (Chloe Healy) and Basingstoke (Gwen Petitpierre) – are participating in the quest to scale the three highest mountains in England, Scotland, and Wales respectively in less than 24 hours. The team has so far raised around £2,600 of their £10,000 target.

Gwen’s nephew has recently been diagnosed as having Muscular Dystrophy, so her brother and sister will join the mission. The whole team are completely committed to giving this challenge their very best shot and have been training throughout the winter. The team has already done a trial run of Scafell Pike, and also two ascents of Snowdon in one day.

The team’s challenge will begin at the foot of Ben Nevis. Dressed in thick clothing and equipped with survival essentials such as compasses, torches and first aid kits, the walkers will begin the demanding ascent, which will finish at the summit - 1,344m above sea level – approximately three hours later.

Once back down and following a 248-mile drive - shared between the two drivers (Jamie Lake (Thales UK’s Bury St Edmunds site) and Louise Smith (Thales UK’s Crawley site) to enable the walkers to rest and eat between destinations – the five will then start to scale the notoriously steep and rocky Scafell Pike in the Lake District. They should start this climb at around 1630 and reach the summit - 978m above sea level – approximately two and a half hours later.

Following a 212-mile drive, the team will reach Snowdon at around 0230 on Sunday morning (13 June), facing a daunting 1,085m climb. This – if they make it this far - will be their final challenge. The Snowdon climb should take approximately five hours.

Lou Gilpin, team captain, from Thales UK’s Weybridge site, is enthusiastic and well prepared. “Much training has been undertaken in the weeks leading up to the challenge. We are now hoping for some good weather, and some good luck to help us reach our sponsorship target,” he says. “The whole team are looking forward to the challenge, and are now fit and highly motivated. The fact that it’s for such a good cause has been an inspiration to us all.”

The most challenging aspect for each team member will be trying to complete the challenge within the 24-hour target. They may lose valuable time on the drive between mountains, and they will all be sleep-deprived, and both physically and mentally exhausted.”

If you would like to sponsor the team please go to
- Ends -

Notes to editors
The three peaks to be scaled by our brave teams are:

* Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles. It is located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area of Scotland, close to the town of Fort William. The summit is 1,344m above sea level.
* Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England. It is located in the Lake District National Park in Cumbria. The summit is 978m above sea level.
* Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and is Great Britain’s highest mountain south of the Scottish Highlands. The summit is 1,085m above sea level.

About Muscular Dystrophy
Muscular Dystrophy is a term that covers any muscle wasting disease, which can affect anybody, but tends to be genetic. It can affect people in different ways and can develop at different speeds. Severe forms can leave a child of 10 wheelchair bound, unable to feed himself, dress himself or do the usual activities most of us take for granted. Less sever forms can mean a more normal life, without great energy, with aching arms and legs after small amounts of activity and missing out on many sports activities at school. Generally, those with less severe forms can expect to need a wheelchair by age 45-50, suffer from considerable sight problems (the eye muscles are affected) and have the frustration of poor balance and lack of coordination.

The Muscular Dystrophy campaign offers financial support to families with a member with the condition, as well as significant funding for research programmes. It also offers practical help for equipping homes with aids for disabled people, as well as a counselling and emotional support service for the families, as well as the affected person.

About Thales and Thales UK
Thales is a global technology leader for the Aerospace and Space, Defence, Security and Transportation markets. In 2009 the company generated revenues of £11.5 billion (€12.9 billion) with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equip¬ment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has
an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers as local partners.

Thales UK employs 8,500 staff based at 40 locations. In 2009 Thales UK’s revenues were around £1.5 billion.


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