halesowen 11-year-old to climb ben nevis to raise money for local disabled child
Eleven-year-old Halesowen schoolboy Harry Vincent is climbing the UK’s highest mountain next month (August 7) in a bid to raise money to help buy a wheelchair for a local disabled child.
Harry is supporting leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation – and in particular a 12-year-old boy from West Bromwich who has profound physical, medical and learning disabilities. He needs a £2,124 lightweight wheelchair to help his family get him around in comfort more easily.
Last August, Harry, who has just left Hurst Green Primary School in Halesowen (Year Six), raised £380 for Newlife Foundation by completing a climb of England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike. He undertook the 16-kilometre walk and climb – which took just over seven hours – with his father Steven, who will be accompanying him again on this year’s challenge.
Last year’s fundraising helped buy sensory equipment for a two-year-old West Heath, Birmingham, girl who has had both her eyes removed after developing tumours on her retinas.
Harry said: “It was a tough day, but I really enjoyed climbing Scafell Pike last year – and people were very generous with their support. My dad and I wanted a new challenge this summer and to help Newlife again, so we thought about Ben Nevis. It will be hard, so I am hoping that the sponsorship will keep me going. The boy I am trying to help is only a year older than me and I want to make sure he gets the wheelchair he really needs.”
Newlife is based in Cannock, Staffordshire, and helps disabled and terminally ill children across the UK; nationally, it has funded more than £7million of grants for essential disability equipment – 447 children in the West Midlands alone have benefitted from grants totalling £582,300.
Newlife is experiencing hugely increased demands on its resources; calls to the Newlife Nurse helpline – 0800 902 0095 – have shot up by 81 per cent, with thousands more hits on the charity’s website www.newlifecharity.co.uk
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “Because of the huge demand we are looking to ‘local heroes’ like young Harry to help us raise more money. We are proud to have his support and dedication and would urge local people to make a donation to urge him on in this feat of endurance.”
Sheila added: “Equipment ‘enables’. It can mean the difference between comfort and pain, engagement or isolation, freedom or a worsening condition. Therefore, our equipment grants are vital to so many children, offering practical support to families. Equipment can range from beds and buggies to specialist seating and communication aids. Equipment costing from hundreds to several thousands of pounds really can revolutionise a child’s life.”
If you would like to sponsor Harry, or think you can help in another way, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640. Any individual or organisation thinking of running a fundraising event is asked to contact the team, who can offer support and guidance.
Any money raised in excess of that needed for the wheelchair will be used to help other disabled and terminally ill children in the West Midlands.
Pictured: Harry Vincent.