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Conquering Snowden for terminally ill children

Conquering Snowden for charity is a team effort at West Downs Day Nursery in Hampshire where even the children are joining in training exercises on their very own garden ‘mountain’.

As the eight man team prepares for Snowden, the highest mountain in Wales at 1,085 metres above sea level, the children at the nursery in Romsey Road, Winchester, have been joining in climbs to the summit of the newly renovated and stepped garden area.

As Emily Bennett, team member and a nursery pre-school 'leader' explains, children, parents and grandparents have been so supportive the target of £500 has been surpassed with pledges already in access of £1,000 for the 'When You Wish Upon a Star' charity which makes dreams come true for terminally ill children and their families.

"This charity is particularly important to us as we are surrounded by healthy, happy, and confident children. We want to celebrate that fact while ensuring we raise as much money as possible to make dreams come true for less fortunate children," said Emily. 

That is why the team decided to make their Snowden climb even more challenging with a March date - renowned for freezing high winds on the mountain - for the expedition and for team member, Mikaela Richardson, the added challenge of conquering a very real fear of heights. 

"Parents have been absolutely fantastic with their pledges and advice for training and the actual expedition. We have a 68-year-old grandfather who climbed Snowden who has been absolutely wonderful," said Emily. 

Practitioner John Harvey came up with the idea and is inspiring colleagues during training sessions centred in local gyms and open spaces with children - who created a 'Good Luck' sign for the team - encouraging some 'in-house' climbs in the nursery garden. 

Garden renovations to update outside, age-appropriate, learning and play areas have resulted in a steep rear section being stepped with additional growing beds, providing a panoramic 'summit' view of the garden. 

The team for the six-hour marathon 'Summit and back' challenge in Wales also includes Danielle Scobell, Kirsty Ingleson, Jude Kirkbride, Ash Barton and Clare Symonds.