THE director of a Wrexham financial firm is swapping his briefcase for a rucksack to take part in a charity trek through a remote Spanish mountain region which is home to a native species of brown bear.
Medwyn Edwards, joint director of Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management, based in Regent Street, will don his hiking boots to take part in the three-day expedition through the Picos De Europa in Northern Spain where he will spend one night camping out in a remote mountain hut.
The trek has been organised by the St. James’s Place Foundation, the charitable arm of the FTSE 100 Company St. James’s Place which is one of the UK’s largest wealth management organisations and looks after client funds amounting to £62 bn.
Medwyn’s firm, which he set up in 2000 with fellow director Warren Hadlow, is a Principal Partner Practice of St. James’s Place and Medwyn had been considering taking part in one of their charity expeditions for some time.
Events and challenges are held every year to help raise money for the foundation which has been supporting those in need since 1992 by awarding grants to charities registered in the UK with more than £40 million having been raised to date.
Causes supported include Support Dogs, a national charity which trains and supports dogs to help people with a range of disabilities including autism and epilepsy, AfriKids which is London-based charity which works to improve the lives of Ghana’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and Worldwide Volunteering which helps disadvantaged young people through volunteering opportunities.
Medwyn, 55, a father-of-two who lives in Wrexham and is originally from Anglesey, said: “Every year, I have thought about taking part in one of the St. James’s Place Foundation events because I enjoy the outdoors and I like a bit of adventure!
“I am looking forward to the challenge of the trek, seeing the mountains, visiting a part of the world I have never been to before and trying the local food.
“I have always enjoyed being outdoors because of the fresh air and exercise. It’s a great way to escape from the day-to-day challenges of running a wealth management company.
“As a firm, Hadlow Edwards does a lot to support charities and this is very important to us so for me this is a great way to combine something I enjoy doing and raising money for important causes at the same time.”
Medwyn’s charity excursion through the limestone mountains comes three months after the wealth management company were the main sponsors of a ball staged at Chester Racecourse in aid of Nicola’s Fund.
The ball is organised every two years to raise money for the charity inspired by talented young performer Nicola Riley who was a pupil of the prestigious Chester Hammond School thanks to her natural gifts for dance and drama.
Nicola of Llay was five days away from her 15th birthday when she passed away on April 20, 2005, following a long and determined fight against a brain tumour.
The Hadlow Edwards sponsored ball raised £30,000 and was organised by Nicola’s parents Debbie and Steve, who works with Hadlow Edwards.
Medwyn has been training hard for his upcoming trek at high altitude by walking up to 15 miles carrying a rucksack through Snowdonia and on the local North Wales coastal paths.
His journey in Spain will start on June 3 when he arrives in Bilbao where he will be taken into remote mountain country to complete the three days of trekking through the Cares Gorge and into the higher mountain terrain of Naranjo de Bulnes.
The region is home to a range of plants and wildlife including the Cantabrian brown bear, also known as the Littlest Grizzly, and grey wolves are often spotted in some of the more remote areas too.
“I hadn’t thought too much about what I might encounter while I am out there,” laughed Medwyn.
“It would be pretty special to see a brown bear but I don’t suppose we will want to get too near but I should think they won’t want to get too close to us either!”
Medwyn was tasked with raising £500 but has already smashed that to reach close to £2,500 for the St. James’s Place Foundation.
“My aim is £3,000 so I don’t have too far to go. People have been very generous and raising this sort of total will have made the whole thing very worthwhile.”
To sponsor Medwyn visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiserweb/donate/indexerSearchCharityResults.action