Leighton Buzzard men brave Three Peaks Challenge to honour friend and raise funds for Reclaim Life

Two adventurous Leighton Buzzard men completed the Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for Reclaim Life and honour their friend's memory.

By Jo Robinson
Saturday, 18th June 2022, 1:44 pm

Andy Beauvoisin, 42, and Ryan Silvester, 31, climbed Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Snowdon during the bank holiday weekend, raising £2,835 for the mental health charity.

The duo chose Reclaim Life because Andy received counselling to come to terms with the death of their good friend, James Archer, and wished to give something back.

Andy said: "I was probably at my lowest and they did wonders and helped me out. They made me acknowledge what happened. I felt that if we did it for the charity then someone else in my position could be helped.

Ryan and Andy during the Three Peaks Challenge. Right: James and Andy at James's wedding in Las Vegas in 2017.

"Ryan is a great friend, and was a strong guy to have alongside me during the challenge."

Ryan said: "It was a huge sense of achievement for us both and by far the biggest fitness test to date. To do it alongside one of my best friends and the feeling of giving back to a great cause will be an experience I’ll never forget.

"I hope the money we raised for Reclaim Life can give someone else the opportunity they need to move forward."

The pair's close chum, James Archer, lived in Leighton Buzzard and was well known in the town, working as a consultant at The Mortgage Advice Bureau.

Three Peaks Challenge

He died in August 2019 aged just 42, leaving behind his family, friends, and young daughter.

Andy explained: "James went to sleep and had a brain haemorrhage and he didn't wake up. He went to hospital the next day and he was on life support for a couple of weeks, but it was decided that he wouldn't be able to regain consciousness.

"He was a lovely, fun character, a good family man who loved adventure, and loved going out and enjoying himself."

Ryan remembered: "I met 'Arch' through our local pub several years ago. He was part of the pool team as a loyal mascot/drinking partner, and from there a healthy friendship blossomed.

Three Peaks Challenge

"Archer's sudden passing was a massive shock for all family members, and the many friends he gained over the years, and in due course affected each person in different ways, myself included."

Andy told the LBO that after James's death, he "wasn't a nice person to be around", as he was affected by grief and unsure how to deal with it.

However, Andy took the brave step and reached out to Reclaim Life, which offers five free counselling sessions. They kindly offered a few extra, too, as Andy "wasn't ready" after the five.

Ryan said: "I was unbelievably proud of him in taking the steps he did and beginning to rebuild himself."

Andy and Ryan had originally planned to climb Snowdon in 2020, but Covid-19 scuppered their plans, so the pair planned a bigger challenge for 2022.

They braved an 11-hour ascent and descent of Ben Nevis, a scary ravine whilst scaling Scafell Pike, and the wet Welsh weather during their climb up Snowdon.

Andy said: "The highlight was the camaraderie. We did it in a group and I've made friends for life."

The pair thank everyone who has donated so far, and their climbing buddies: Jason, Ruhelly, Luke, Jenny, Tony and Phil.