Climber Undertakes Everest Expedition For Essex Charity!

Climber Gavin Wilkie is set to raise a huge amount of money for Essex charity Brainwave as he attempts to climb Mount Everest in 2012, fittingly marking the charity’s 30th anniversary.

Gavin Wilkie will use his climbing skills to raise a huge amount for Brainwave

Essex children’s charity, Brainwave, is set to benefit by at least £10,000 which is the amount that climber Gavin Wilkie has pledged to raise from his forthcoming attempt on the world’s highest summit in 2012. The expedition will be a fitting tribute to mark Brainwave’s 30th anniversary and the fundraising will go directly to help three Brainwave children continue on Programme. The challenge begins this month when the team will hope to summit Ama Dablam as they test out their equipment ready for the Everest climb in 2012.

Brainwave works with families to deliver home based individual therapies and exercises to help children with disabilities and Developmental Delay reach their full potential. That potential might be anything from a child sitting or walking to feeding themselves or counting. The children on Brainwave’s selected ‘Programme’ have a range of conditions including brain injuries such as Cerebral Palsy, genetic conditions like Down’s Syndrome, Autism or General Development Delay.

Families are invited to attend an Initial Assessment where the whole family is assessed and a programme is developed that is tailor made for the child. The parents are then shown how to deliver that programme, which they undertake at home, returning to the Centre every 4-6 months for it to be adjusted as the child progresses.

Brainwave CEO Christine Cryne said, “Everyday many of the children who come to Brainwave face the equivalent of their own mountain to climb whether it is walking a couple of steps, raising their head or learning to interact with their family.” If Gavin is successful in his attempt to raise sponsorship for the expedition, up to three children from Brainwave’s SE Centre could benefit through the Guardianship Scheme. £3,500 funds the daily, life changing therapy for one child for a whole year.

Gavin said, “I chose the charity because I saw the huge difference the charity made to a friend’s child.

“The challenge begins this year on the 15th October when we spend 5 weeks acclimatising and testing out our equipment up to an altitude of 23,000ft when we will hope to summit Ama Dablam. Following on from this the main expedition will leave on the 31 March 2012 and the duration is approximately two months, if things go to plan this should see us standing on top of the world towards the end of May 2012. In total the challenge will see me separated from my family for three and a half months, most of which will be spent under canvas and living out of a ruck-sack. It will be a tough challenge but nothing in comparison to the challenges that some of these children and parents have to face every day.’

Gavin wants the expedition to inspire others and help ensure that children from Brainwave families will benefit from his quest to reach “the top of the world”. Funds can be contributed securely online with words of encouragement via Gavin’s fundraising page on Justgiving: http://www.justgiving.com/Gavin-Wilkie

The Centre in Witham was set up in 2007 so that families did not have to travel the long distance down to Brainwave’s initial Centre in the South West. The Centre has currently has 116 families on Programme.

Thanks to Gavin’s expedition, Brainwave and its members can receive both the funding and the recognition they deserve. For more information on Brainwave’s work, see www.brainwave.org.uk,  email: enquiriesnw@brainwave.org.uk or phone 01925 825547.

Posted by Emily Richardson

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