A group of Devon men are taking on the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge for Exmouth mental health community group RV-ONE.

The Community Interest Company was founded in 2020 by Exmouth Royal Marine Sergeant Tom Merriman, 37, a Physical Training Instructor at the Commando Training Centre, Lympstone, and its founding premise revolves around social interaction as a means to boosting mental health.

Through physical training sessions and social meet-ups, despite the recent lockdown, and because of it, the organisation has supported countless people in the community, including many teenagers in recent months.

The Three Peaks Challenge involves participants hiking up the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon – in 24 hours. The total walking distance is 23 miles and the total ascent is 3,064 metres.

Last year, it was the turn of an all-female squad who raised around £15,000 for the charity; this year, the all-male group’s fundraising tally is also expected to hit £15,000.

The participants, supported by a small group of serving and former Royal Marines, set off from Exmouth for Scotland today, Friday (May 6), and will start the challenge on Saturday.

The RV-ONE Three Peaks Challenge is the organisation’s flagship annual fundraiser giving people the opportunity to take on the feat fully supported.

Tom said: “The Three Peaks Challenge is so hard – it’s a mix of fatigue, calorie deficit, blisters and soft tissue injuries – but it’s one of the most incredible challenges out there.

“We want to be able to continue to fundraise for the community while offering people the chance to complete this amazing feat. I’m proud of everyone who takes this on.”

To find out about future challenges, as well as for more information about the social meet-ups, visit www.facebook.com/rv.oneuk