CHARITY fundraiser Lloyd Scott’s final adventure is underway after taking his first steps on the Three Peaks Challenge – dressed in a deep-sea diving suit weighing 130lbs.
Lloyd – who completed the London Marathon in his famous suit in 2002 – began his latest epic challenge at the base of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK.
He’ll then head to England to take on Scafell Pike before rounding out the incredible week with a climb up Snowdon.
"Most people don't know me – which I'm quite happy with – but they do know the man in the diving suit, so I become a fairly recognisable character doing this challenge,” said Scott.
"I'm not sure what challenges I'm going to face. It's going to be steep, it's going to be high, but I've not climbed any of the peaks before so that makes it really exciting.
"There's that element of the unknown and that's why I'm anticipating it so much.
“It’s very difficult to try and train for something specific. I’ve been doing lots of cycling, general cardio, walking through the forests with my dogs wearing big ankle weights strapped to my legs to strengthen them.
“I’ll be wearing a helmet, big weights, a fairly waterproof suit and some nice big boots – so not your ideal hiking gear.”
Lloyd is raising money and awareness for the Lord’s Taverners, helping disadvantaged and disabled young people who are battling loneliness and isolation.
The Covid-19 pandemic has left them unable to access vital Lord’s Taverners programmes to meet new friends, socially engage and develop a wide range of personal skills.
And while Lloyd will be feeling lonely in the suit, he certainly won’t be lacking in support – not least from Captain Sir Tom Moore.
Lloyd joined Captain Sir Tom, an honorary Lord’s Taverners member, on his daily walk as part of his final preparations before embarking on the final challenge of an incredible fundraising career.
As well as his London Marathon adventures, he has cycled across Australia on a penny farthing, and completed an underwater marathon – all of which has helped him raise more than £5m.
Lloyd and Captain Tom, who has set up his own Foundation to help combat loneliness, joined forces to discuss why loneliness is such a poignant cause for them personally.
"My involvement with the Lord's Taverners goes back to when I was 10 or 11 and my dad took me to see one of the cricket matches,” added Lloyd.
"They've always been on my radar. When I got the opportunity to join the Taverners and play cricket for them, I saw the fantastic work they do.
"It's nice after all that involvement that I'm signing off my fundraising challenge with something for this fantastic cause.
"I remember when I had leukaemia, I couldn't play sport for some time and I realised how much I missed it.
"To think of these children, who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity for the excitement, the thrill, the joy, and the disappointment that sport brings, it's something that's very close to my heart and something I want to make sure they're able to experience.”
A climb over 23 miles long and a 3,064-foot ascent is in store for Lloyd over the next week – one of the toughest challenges of his life.
But he hasn’t let himself think too far ahead and the Snowdon finish in three peaks’ time.
He added: "There'll be a great deal of satisfaction, a lot of reflection, possibly joy and sadness. But the lovely thing is, I don't know how I'm going to feel.
"So you’re going to have to ask me again when we get there!"
Lloyd Scott will be tackling the 3 Peaks Challenge in a deep sea diving suit to raise money and awareness to help disadvantaged and disabled young people, who are battling loneliness and isolation during the Covid pandemic. Visit www.lordstaverners.org to make a donation.