A GROUP of ten people are set to climb the UK's highest mountains in 24 hours for a special needs school in Downley.

The team, which is mainly made up of Barclays Bank employees in south Bucks, is gearing up to face one of its toughest challenges yet by taking on the might of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Mount Snowdon - in one day.

The idea was inspired by Mike Locke, 49, a business manager of Barclays Bank in High Wycombe, who read a Sunday newspaper article on the three-peaks challenge.

He then decided to ask fellow colleagues to join him and the team has now expanded to 12.

However, only ten will climb the mountains as two will be required to drive them between locations.

The team will take to the peaks in England, Scotland and Wales in June, raising cash for Maplewood School in Downley, a special needs school which needs £1.2million for a hydrotherapy pool.

Mr Locke, of Pond Approach, Holmer Green, said they had been preparing well for the challenge.

He said: "We have been to Mount Snowdon twice.

"We managed to get lost the first time and we also used Barclays head office in Canary Wharf.

"That is 33 storeys high and that was hard work - harder work than climbing up a mountain. We went up and down there six times.

"We are going up Scafell Pike this weekend because we have to do it in the dark for the challenge.

"We are also doing an overnight walk in the Chilterns at the end of May so people are used to navigating in the dark."

Although the team is required to climb all the mountains in 24 hours, the challenge will actually take place over a period of three days because of the time it takes to drive between locations.

The team has been given the backing of 25 businesses in the area and already raised more than £2,000 for the school in Faulkner Way.

They have donated equipment including walkie talkies and even a van to drive them between the peaks.

The school originally set itself a target of £500,000 for the special needs pool in the 1990s, but a recent estimate put the cost in excess of £1million.

John Rumble, 49, headteacher, said: "We are quite thrilled that they are supporting us in a proactive way which is great."

If you wish to sponsor any of the team or donate to their fundraising account for the school, visit www.pool4aschool.com