Superstar fundraiser Oscar Burrow officially cut the ribbon on Derian House’s newly refurbished holiday lodges – where the hospice’s children and their families can make precious memories on what could be their last holiday together.
The inspirational six-year-old from Lancaster – who has hit headlines in his challenge to climb 12 UK mountains to the height of Everest in his bid to “send poorly children on holiday” – unveiled the fresh-look lodges at Ribby Hall Holiday Village alongside his family this morning (Monday 6 March).
Oscar is seven mountains into his climb and has already smashed his original fundraising target of £8,849 (£1 for every metre of the height of Mt. Everest) and is now on more than £12,500.
Oscar now hopes to raise £29,000 (£1 for every foot of Mt. Everest!), which could send 29 children with life-limiting illnesses on a free holiday with their families.
Oscar said: “I am really enjoying the challenge and can’t wait for the next mountain. I just want to send as many children and families on holiday as I can.
“I really liked looking around the lodges and I’m glad that so many families will be able to have happy times there. I think going on holiday will be nicer than having medicine.”
Oscar will tackle Glyder Fawr in Snowdonia next for his eighth mountain, alongside dad Matt, mum Kim, grandad Mark, and little sister Ada, aged four.
He will finish his challenge with a grand finale and will climb Ben Nevis, the highest in Scotland, on the 70th anniversary of the first successful ascent of Mt. Everest by Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay (29 May, 1953).
One kind-hearted supporter sent Oscar a 1953 copy of The Times featuring the first ever Mount Everest climb – which Oscar has said he will “keep forever”.
Oscar’s dad Matt, 38, said: “We are incredibly proud of Oscar and we have had an amazing amount of support from people all over the world. One man from America even donated twice!
“We’re gearing up for our next mountain at the end of March and we’re more motivated than ever after seeing the charity’s holiday lodges at Ribby Hall.”
Oscar’s mum Kim, said: “We’re immensely proud of Oscar and what he’s achieved for such a deserving cause. Giving us our time for this challenge is nothing in comparison to the help that families get from Derian House and knowing that the money we raise will go to help them create precious memories together on holiday makes it all worthwhile.”
Karen Edwards, Chief Executive at Derian House, said: “At Derian House we strive to provide opportunities for families to make the most of the time they have. Our holiday lodges are an incredible facility that enable our families to take a break, have fun, and make memories.
“It is only down to the generosity of our incredible supporters – like Oscar and his family – that we are able to do this and we’re so grateful. We wish them all the luck in the world on their next climb and will be cheering them along every step of the way.”
Derian House is able to offer 200 families a free week’s stay in their holiday lodges every year.
The hospice, based in Chorley, Lancashire, cares for more than 400 babies, children, young people and their families from across the North West and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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. Find out more: www.derianhouse.co.uk
To sponsor Oscar visit: Oscar Burrow is fundraising for Derian House Children’s Hospice (justgiving.com)