PERSONAL trainer Ieuan Ford raised £1000 last year for The Youth Counselling Project by climbing the Welsh Three Peaks in 24 hours.

This year he is tackling nine mighty mountain climbs in Scotland, England and Wales in just three days, with a massive target of £5,000 to reach.

The Seaford-based charity is raising money to provide therapy for young people suffering from mental health problems.

Ten sessions for each child helped costs £400 so The Youth Counselling Project faces its own challenge too.

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 23, 24 and 25 July, Ieuan, 38, plus three hiker friends and a dedicated driver hope to summit the tallest mountains in Scotland, Wales and England.

This covers Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike, plus three of the highest in Yorkshire, Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, and his old friends the Welsh Three Peaks, Snowdon again, Cadair Idris and finishing on Pen-Y-Fan.

The distance to be climbed totals 22,900 feet with 1,600 miles on the road.

Ieuan said: “That’s the equivalent of going to Everest base camp but without worrying about oxygen.”

The team will comprise Ieuan’s wife Rosie, 36, old hiking partner Paul Prichard, 40, and Paul’s partner Steph Cullen, 37, and various friends who will hit the trail with them on separate days.

As a Personal Trainer who works all over Sussex, Ieuan, who lives in Eastbourne, must be fit?

Well, up to a point.

As he explained, there’s a world of difference between walking the Seven Sisters and a whole mountain – let alone nine in three days.

“Yes, we do walk the Seven Sisters as some sort of preparation, but it’s not the same.

“Last year doing Cadair Idris I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. There were four false summits before we got to the top. It was all very disheartening.”

Diet, he said, played a huge part and the nutritionist follows a ketogenic regime, with 75 per cent of his food coming from fat, 20 per cent from protein and five per cent from carbohydrates.

“The fats keep you going for longer. You need to eat 8,000 calories a day as you burn about 30,000 in those three days. It takes two weeks to get into ketosis when you start to use fat as energy.”

The team will be carrying their own food and fluids and snatching sleep in a camper van. Ieuan is planning 12- to 18-hour days, more if the weather is bad. He likes a personal challenge but wanted to be involved with a charity, so why single out The Youth Counselling Project?

“I chose the charity for what they do for children,” he said. “I was shocked to hear how many kids suffer. I had a friend who I think suffered in the same way and it made me think.