The Ben Nevis Trekkers!

Continued Care’s team members are always up to some kind of fundraising for a good cause, but our latest venture may be the most ambitious yet.

Sam, Gareth, Iona, Amy, Mike, Dave and Megan will be hiking nine miles up (and down!) Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, on Saturday, July 3rd.

They are hoping to raise £1,000 for our Charity of the Year, Martin House Hospice for Children and Young People. This vital charity offers support, rest and practical help to families caring for a child or young person with a short life expectancy.

The hospice works with families throughout West, East and North Yorkshire, both at their hospice in Boston Spa and within the community, to provide respite care, emergency symptom control, end-of-life care and bereavement support.

With running costs of £9 million a year and only 10% of their funding coming from statutory sources, Martin House relies heavily on donations from the local community. Below is just one example of how your donation can make a difference.

Memory making

It is often said when talking about Martin House that the focus of hospice care is not on dying, it is on making the most out of living. At Martin House, amidst the critical emergency care and symptom control that is provided round the clock, the care is centred on family-led memory making.

For example, every week the children are treated to a visit from the charity’s Pets as Therapy (PAT) provider, Nuzzlets Farm – a local animal sanctuary which rehomes a wide variety of small animals such as guinea pigs, rabbits and chickens – to create fun and stimulating experiences for the children and young people to take part in. 

£300 could cover the cost of 10 visits from our Nuzzlets, as well as a trip out to the farm for the children to meet a variety of animals including rabbits, dogs, guinea pigs and ponies and have the sensory experience of interacting with them. Martin House’s care team say the children’s faces light up when they feel the animals’ soft fur. For some children this may be the first and only chance to interact with animals in a safe environment, something that is invaluable for them and their family.

A challenging time

Martin House has continued to support children and their families throughout the pandemic. This last year has been challenging for us all, but for families with a child with a life-limiting condition, it has been an extremely isolating and worrying time. Many have been shielding the whole time, too anxious to go out and unable to access support in the community.

Iona Novak, who has organised the fundraising trek as part of a series of events in aid of Martin House, said: “The families that Martin House supports face some unimaginable challenges, and the charity ensures that it is there for them through every step of their journey. The aim is to provide joy, peace and love at a time when families need it the most.”

The group members have been preparing for the trek mainly by doing lots of walking in their spare time. Through sunshine, showers, hailstones, thunderstorms and even snow they’ve walked and walked, often accompanied by canine companions and sometimes carrying a picnic. They’ve covered nine miles to Knaresborough and back, six miles around Fewston and Swinsty reservoirs, ten miles around Grassington, and 13 miles along the Settle Loop, which is only supposed to be nine miles but Iona got lost!

Iona has also been compiling a playlist of music for the eight-hour trek, including songs such as ‘These boots are made for walking’ and ‘I would walk 500 miles’.

She added: “We’ve done a few walks in aid of charity before, but Ben Nevis will be our biggest challenge yet. Thank you in advance for helping to support such a great cause! We would be grateful for any donation, no matter how small, to help support Martin House’s vital work with families in our community.”

For regular updates about the group’s preparations for the charity trek, or to make a donation, please click here.

In addition, pens, badges, bags and travel mugs are now on sale at Continued Care’s three offices in Harrogate, Ripon and Settle to help boost the fundraising total.

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