Students ‘aim high’ to raise money for Ethan

A group of Shrewsbury College students are attempting one of the most demanding mountain walks in the UK to raise funds for a local disabled boy.

All 23 members of Shrewsbury College’s outdoor course will be taking part in the 24 Peaks Challenge on May 9, and the money raised from their charity challenge will go towards the Little Rascals Foundation, but more specifically, a six-year-old boy called Ethan Wheeler.

Ethan, from Shrewsbury, spent his first eighteen months in Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool. He suffers from life threatening and life limiting conditions such as short bowel syndrome which means he is now fed intravenously, cerebral palsy, neurological conditions and hypertension. He the only boy in Shropshire with his complex conditions. Ethan is non-verbal and enjoys sensory equipment, which the students wish to give with the money raised.

Level 3 Adventurous Activities student, Callum Ryder-Foster, aged 17, is chairman of the challenge. He said the students got involved with the Little Rascals Foundation, a new charity in the local area, and learned about Ethan through the charity.

He said: “We chose to fundraise specifically for Ethan because of the difficulties he has. His story made us all really emotional. We are training really hard for the challenge every Tuesday and Thursday up on the hills in Wales and practicing our navigation skills.”

Sports Lecturer, Simon Edwards, said: “The 24 Peaks Challenge is one of the most demanding mountain walking events created in the UK. The seriously tough two-day challenge will really test the physical and mental stamina of the group of Level 3 Adventurous Activities students taking part. It's set in the heart of the Lake District and will need huge amounts of planning and preparation to complete.

“The students found out about Ethan, who attends Severndale School, via the Little Rascals Foundation, based in Monkmoor. The Little Rascals Foundation aims to make life easier for children with disabilities in any way they can, and support them and their families. They aim get them the help they need to enhance their lives and increase their independence.”

Mell Wheeler, Ethan’s mum, said: “We are so pleased the students have chosen to fundraise for Ethan. I know the challenge will be really tough for them. Ethan is such a happy little boy and being his mum is so rewarding. I know he will get a lot out of the equipment they are hoping to get for him and I wish them all the luck in the world.”

The students aim to raise £2000. To sponsor them please visit

To find out about Sport or any other courses at Shrewsbury College, please visit or call Admissions on 01743 342346. The next advice event is at London Road on 23 March from 5pm – 7pm.

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