A six-year-old boy has climbed the UK’s 12 highest mountains, the equivalent of scaling Mount Everest, to raise money for Lancashire’s children’s hospice.
Having already scaled the highest peaks in England and Wales, Oscar Burrow made it to Ben Nevis’s summit on Monday (29 May) “in glorious sunshine”.
The day also marked the 70th anniversary of the first successful ascent of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.
Oscar, from Lancaster, who has raised more than £34,000 for Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley, wants “poorly children to go on holiday”.
But he hasn’t peaked yet – the pint-sized fundraiser has another challenge up his sleeve.
Oscar now hopes to complete the National Three Peaks Challenge later this year in which he will attempt to climb the highest mountains of England, Scotland and Wales in 24 hours.
The youngster hopes to raise an additional £30,000 – an amount that could run the hospice’s hydrotherapy pool for an entire year.
Oscar’s dad Matt said: “As parents we are so proud of Oscar. He has demonstrated maturity, resilience and courage by stepping into the unknown and rolling with the challenges. I hope he has inspired children and adults to go after their dreams – one step at a time.”
When asked if he was proud of what he has achieved, Oscar said: “I’m glad I completed the challenge and now I’m looking forward to the next one.”
The youngster was given a special award by staff at Derian House as a thank you for his hard work.
“I got a very special badge and I want to take it to school,” he said, adding: “I want poorly children to go swimming on their holiday.”
Karen Edwards, Chief Executive at Derian House, said: “All of us at Derian House have followed Oscar along on his journey to climb an incredible 12 mountains – totalling the height of the highest mountain in the world. What an achievement!
“Oscar has reached mountainous heights in his mission to raise money for the children and families of Derian House and we’re so grateful. It is only down to the generosity of our incredible supporters – like Oscar and his family – that we are able to do what we do for families.”
It will cost £6 million to run services at Derian House in 2023, and so the charity relies on the generosity of its supporters for 70p in every £1.
If Oscar hits his target of a whopping £60,000, half could help to run Derian House’s hydrotherapy pool for an entire year.
The hospice hydrotherapy pool offers families a space place to enjoy splash sessions together, and more recently swimming lessons tailored to each young person’s individual needs.
Six-year-old Riziah Moazzeny, from Chorley, visits Derian House’s pool often with mum, Naomi.
Riziah was born with a rare condition called Heterotaxy Syndrome, causing her internal organs to be abnormally arranged and her heart to mirror itself with two left sides.
Mum Naomi said: “Because of her condition, Riziah struggles to cope with the cold temperatures of public swimming pools. It can tire her easily and cause her to pass out. She’s susceptible to infections too, which means public pools can be a risk. Now that Riziah can have swimming lessons at Derian House it helps her to feel included. All of her friends have swimming lessons, so now she can talk about them just like they do. Using the pool at Derian has been really positive for her.”