Two friends have completed an incredible hiking and cycling challenge in aid of three good causes.

Lifelong pals Alfie Duncan and Thomas Shiels, both of Ellesmere Port, decided to make the traditional Three Peaks Challenge even more gruelling. So as well as scaling the three highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland – Scafell Pike, Snowdon and Ben Nevis – they also cycled between each of them in an amazing show of endurance.

Their mission was to raise £15,000 for “young heroes” Demi Butler, Cameron Rowley and Hannah Leffler.

Demi, 11, is recovering from leukaemia after having bone marrow donated from her sister Ellie, while fellow Portite Cameron, 10, is battling a rare form of cancer. Hannah, 26, of Little Sutton, has gastroparesis, a stomach condition which causes her many problems including excessive vomiting, fatigue, malnutrition and dehydration.

The money raised is to be split between the three and, so far, the charitable chums have brought in £4,500.

Thomas, 26, and Alfie, 29, returned to a heroes’ welcome at the Horse & Jockey pub on Dock Street on Saturday before attending a fund-raising evening at The Whitby Club later that evening.

The pair’s challenge – which they christened ‘Broken Back Mountain’ in a reference to the film with a similar name – took place over six days and involved 500 miles of cycling. The combined height of the three peaks is 3,407 metres.

When asked why they took on the challenge, Thomas said: “While we are in good health, along with the large following we have, we thought ‘why not?’.”

Alfie added: “If we can provide some happiness to the less fortunate then let’s do it.”

The pair had support from local businessman Richard Wiltshire, director of Window Clean Direct. Richard volunteered his time as a support driver and also donated his company van for the journey up and down the country.

He said: “I stepped in to help the lads because what they are doing is simply amazing and they told me that without a support vehicle, the challenge would not have gone ahead.

“I thought it was only right that I should support them and help play a small part in helping change the lives of others and support our community.”

You can make a donation via Thomas and Alfie’s JustGiving page at crowdfunding/threepeakcycle challenge.