Sue’s aiming for the top – 214 times

At the time of writing, number 34 has just been ticked off. And no doubt 35 and 36 will follow shortly.

When business mentor Sue Howorth sets her mind to a challenge, then a few thousand feet of sharp incline isn’t likely to hold her back.

The Founder and Co-Director of The Family Business Network has set herself the test of completing the imposing Wainwright Challenge – conquering all 214 peaks of the Lake District in just 12 months. 34 done, 180 to go.

Most weekends and some evenings it’s a case of swapping the workwear for hiking boots and setting off on another trek.

Sue, a resident of Windermere, said: “I’m no stranger to the Lakeland fells but I’d never challenged myself to climb the higher peaks. I decided the Wainwrights would be the perfect physical and fund-raising challenge.”

It was the financial impact on a much-cherished charity that sparked Sue into action.

Survival threat

The Lake District Calvert Trust delivers outdoor adventure experiences for disabled adults and children. The charity was one of many that was forced to suspend activities as lockdown hit last year.

Sue, who launched the network in the North West in 2014 to support and help family businesses develop, said: “When I heard the trust talk about how badly their funding had been hit by the pandemic and how it was threatening their survival, it really affected me.

“The centre delivers amazing experiences for disabled people. I knew I wanted to support them and give something back to their community.”

Giving back means finding the time and energy to reach the summit of such famous names as Scafell Pike (England’s highest mountain), Great Gable, and the Old Man of Coniston. For Sue, who has a fear of heights, going down has been even more of a challenge than the ascent.

business mentor Sue Howorth on Lake District peak

A spring sunset to celebrate summit number 34, High Hartsop Dodd


She said: “We tackled the Kentmere horseshoe and the winds were high. It was cold and I was losing my nerve. Luckily, my experienced walking companion coaxed me down and we carried on.”

Sue is optimistic she will complete her challenge by the end of the year and reach her £3,500 fund-raising target.

Vital work

Jennifer Scott, Fundraising Manager at Calvert Lakes, said: “We have been hit very hard. We are so reliant on fundraising and are hugely grateful to each and every person that helps us.

“The pandemic has given people a taste of what it can be like for those living with disabilities and the loneliness that they can face every day of their lives. Now more so than ever, our work is vitally needed.

“As a centre we subsidise every stay by £30. So the monies Sue is looking to raise would help over 100 people to come and stay overnight with us.”

Anyone wishing to support Sue can visit her fundraising page at

To find out more about the Lake District Calvert Trust and its work visit

→ We’ve written several times about the physical and mental health benefits of taking a walk.