A CARLISLE healthcare team has found an innovative way to keep its spirits up during the lockdown - by climbing three mountains virtually.

Staff at Choose Occupational Health, a Carlisle-based, family-run occupational health company, will be scaling the heights of Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike without leaving their homes, ascending staircases rather than mountain paths.

Due to the current lockdown situation, the closely knit team has been missing the team spirit that comes from working closely together.

The idea for the virtual challenge came from office administrator Beki Turner-Saunders, and was quickly adopted as a challenge by the rest of the team.

Managing director of Choose Occupational Health, Sandra Holiday said this virtual Three Peaks Challenge will help the team feel connected in a way it has not been able to since the lockdown began.

“Taking on a physical challenge which allows all the team to participate and contribute to a common goal is a great way to connect.

"It’s a fantastic way to maintain physical and mental well-being and I’m loving seeing daily updates from my team.

“Many organisations have had to quickly adapt to new working situations and staff members can find it very isolating.”

Sandra said that given the lockdown may have a long term, even permanent impact on the way organisations work, it was important that thought is already applied to overcoming the sense of isolation that may result from more companies moving towards remote working.

“As we move into the future, many organisations will be forced to find innovative ways to tackle new challenges – and I’m proud that Choose Occupational Health have already started thinking outside the box.”

As an occupational health business, Choose Occupational Health is well-placed to consider the wider impacts of longer-term home working on staff teams.

Sandra added: “We are devastated to see so many local businesses struggling to survive in these difficult times.

“We have been supporting our clients as best we can."

Choose Occupational Health was recently the joint recipient of the People’s Choice Award for Cumbria in the North West Family Business Awards.