An intrepid six-year-old who is climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest to help Derian House Children’s Hospice send families on much-needed holidays has almost hit his fundraising goal – thanks to the kindness of a stranger.
Little Oscar, from Lancaster, made a big impression on Mark Dunn from Houghton Dunn Charitable Trust who saw him speaking about his challenge on BBC North West Tonight news earlier this month.
Mark decided to make a not-so-pint-sized donation to help Oscar on his way to the £29,000 target – topping it up with a whopping £10,000!
Mark surprised Oscar and his family with the big cheque at the Chorley-based hospice on Friday (24 March).
Now the pounds raised are ahead of the feet climbed in Oscar’s challenge to climb 12 mountains in the UK. The incredible donation brings his total to £27,000 – almost one pound for each foot of Mount Everest.
Oscar said: “Wow, that was a brilliant surprise! Mark has helped us and I’m almost there – I only need £2,000 and we have done it! The money Mark donated is another 10 holidays for Derian House families – yay!”
Generous supporter, Mark Dunn, said: “I was watching the local news and there was a six-year-old boy looking to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest to raise £29,000 for Derian House.
Oscar has been making a fantastic effort for someone so young – he’s very brave. I know of Derian House so I decided to help him out and help him almost reach his target.”
Oscar’s mum, Kim, said: “I was so gobsmacked. The generosity of Mark just blew me away. I was smiling from ear to ear, jumping about and just looking at Oscar. It’s so surreal, we never set out on this journey thinking we’d ever raise anywhere near this amount of money and all of a sudden we’ve got to this point and I can barely comprehend that people have been so generous – it’s amazing.”
Oscar’s challenge is to finish on 29 May, when Oscar will summit Ben Nevis in Scotland – and this day holds a lot of significance as it will be the 70th anniversary of the first successful ascent of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.
Karen Edwards, Chief Executive at Derian House, said: “We are so grateful to Mark of the Houghton Dunn Charitable Trust for such a generous donation that will mean the world to the families of Derian House.
“And of course to Oscar, who has reached mountainous heights in his mission to send Derian House’s families on holiday. 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.”
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