5,000 feet of ascent, 15 miles, eight peaks, one (long) day. Taking on the biggest and best mountains in the Lake District, 51 walkers including Probo Medical marketing manager Kerry Laurie have raised money for charity Be More Ben to support families affected by the death of a child.
After Ben Pritchard died, his parents Shane and Sarah noticed a lack of support for parents and families affected by the death of a child, so they set up the charity to ensure that no bereaved families have to face life without their child alone. The Benjamin Pritchard Foundation – Be More Ben offers regular, informal opportunities for bereaved families to meet with others who understand what it is like when their child dies. They also provide ongoing counselling and complementary therapies to support parents through their grief.
With no staff costs or overheads, every penny raised for Be More Ben goes directly into the support it provides. Parents have described Be More Ben as “exactly what has been missing” and “a lifeline at a time I really needed support.” Following COVID-19, fund-raising has become increasingly difficult even though the need for the charity’s support has increased.
Be More Ben teamed up with a qualified mountain leader to create a challenging and rewarding fund-raising experience. The Mountain Mission incorporated a gruelling full-day hike, covering eight peaks in the Lake District National Park.
Kerry Laurie and the other walkers took on the task to climb the peaks starting near Ambleside and finishing with the final two-hour descent from the top of Helvellyn. The hike covered 15 miles across the Lake District, taking on some of the toughest routes in the area. With a target of £20,000 the team was overwhelmed to complete the climb on a total of £53,000. The funds will go directly to support families after the death of a child.
Laurie said of the experience: “It really was a privilege to be one of the team hiking through the Lake District and being able to support a charity that helps families that had faced such heartbreak. There is barely any support out there for families that have lost a child, but seeing where the money goes, and providing help to the parents and siblings was what got me to the top of those peaks.”
To find out more about the charity, go to bemoreben.org/get-involved.
Lead picture: Some of the Mountain Mission team as they reached one of the eight peaks.
See the full report on page 9 of the September 2023 issue of RAD Magazine.