After losing his mum to blood cancer, Dean Smith has been fundraising for a UK cancer charity alongside his “best mate” and offshore worker Rob Russell.
This year, Mr Russell’s colleagues on Harbour Energy’s Lomond platform joined as the offshore workers took on the gruelling Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.
When asked why he takes part in raising cash for Blood Cancer UK, Mr Russell said: “With Dean losing his mum to blood cancer and I lost my mum to ovarian cancer, it’s still very raw no matter how much time passes.
“But it makes us remember why we’re doing this, so hopefully one day no one will ever have to suffer like our mothers did.”
Delwyn Dalgarno and Jamie Routledge also took on the challenge for charity, all three work for Stork on the Lomond Platform in the “Costa Del North Sea,” as Mr Russell describes it.
Initially, another worker on the Lomond platform, Lee Calvert, was signed up to take on the challenge for Blood Cancer UK, however, he was unable to make it.
Mr Russel says the group is “quite close-knit” and that when the trio are onshore, they “meet up a few times a year for a few drinks in Newcastle.”
The scope of the challenge
In previous years Mr Russell has taken on challenges with his friend Mr Smith, however, due to conflicts in schedule, the two will be undertaking separate challenges as part of their fundraising efforts.
The Duo took on the National three peaks last year, with Mr Dalgarno and Mr Routledge sponsoring the run, however, this year they are also getting involved.
The challenge set for the three Stork employees on Friday, “in the pouring rain,” involves scaling the peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, which stands at 694 metres, Whernside, 736m, and Ingleborough, 723m.
“When I mentioned that I was going to do the Yorkshire 3 Peaks on my own as I’m not available to do it with Dean this year, they volunteered to do it with me and get some sponsors from home to contribute,” explained Mr Russell.
Preparing for the Yorkshire Three Peaks
Despite the size of the challenge, Mr Russell told Energy Voice ahead of the run that he was “very confident and excited,” adding that last year’s run was “amazing” and he was “ready for a new challenge.”
The others involved shared the enthusiasm as Russell explained: “They’re looking forwards to getting out as a group and doing something to be proud of.”
However, when facing a challenge such as the Yorkshire Three Peaks nerves will set in, this group was no stranger to this, “Del looks a little worried as he’s not done much long-distance walking so we’re trying to give him some positive reinforcement,” says Mr Russell.
The ‘generous’ support from the offshore community
This band of North Sea workers have been gathering funds alongside Dean Smith and together, at the time of writing, the group has raised £6,301.
The offshore community has contributed to this with Russel saying: “Honestly, I can’t believe how generous they’ve been, can’t thank the lads enough, to see how they get behind us and show interest about the challenge and also the reason behind it is great.”
However, the group are only halfway to its goal of raising £12,000 for Dean and Rob’s annual “Super September Challenge.”
Mr Smith is still to take on his challenge later in the year.
He added: “I would like to thank Harbour Energy for its kind donation.
“I wasn’t even asking the OIM for a sponsor from them, I just went in to see him about sponsoring us and he sorted it out with absolutely zero issues.
“It’s great to see they’re not a faceless company and do care about what’s important to the guys on their platforms.”