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Schoolchildren climbed two UK peaks for Children’s Hospice South West

30 August 2019 chsw Fundraising

Two schoolchildren have conquered the second of two UK mountains and scaled a mammoth fundraising target for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW).

Brother and sister Bodie and Gracie Blake climbed Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak, during their Easter holidays this year and spent time in their summer holidays climbing to the top of Ben Nevis – the UK’s highest.

They initially set out to raise £200 but were able to raise £1,180 for the charity, which offers respite to children with life-limiting conditions and their families.

Bodie, aged 11 and Gracie, aged nine from Ideford, visited the Little Bridge House children’s hospice near Barnstaple, North Devon, to present their fundraising cheque to the charity.

They said: “We loved climbing England’s and the UK's highest mountains. Ten of us climbed Ben Nevis, including our two cousins and Granny and Grandad. It was heavy rain for an hour and was very windy near the top but it was a great adventure.

We couldn't believe we raised £1,446 with gift aid for the children’s hospice.

The children, who both go to Exeter School, were also joined by Mum Rachel and Dad Steve and encountered deep snow and fog on their way to the summits.

Mum Rachel said they heard about the work of CHSW while watching Children in Need and decided to make it their mission to help the charity, which provides short breaks for families with children with complex medical needs, as well as specialist palliative care, emergency stays, end-of-life care, and bereavement support for as long as it is needed. 

The charity needs around £10million a year to run its three hospices and relies almost entirely on voluntary contributions.

Bodie and Gracie present their fundraising cheque to CHSW community fundraiser Dominic Scotting

Rachel said: “Bodie and Gracie walk their two golden retriever dogs every day, so being outdoors and climbing two mountains seemed an obvious challenge for them both.”

Accepting the fundraising cheque on behalf of the charity, community fundraiser Dominic Scotting, said: “It was great to meet Bodie and Gracie and hear about their enthusiasm for climbing – and fundraising for CHSW!

“This was a tough challenge but they have both done exceptionally well and we really can’t thank them enough for their support.”