Students ‘aim high’ and raise over £3,000 for Ethan

A group of Shrewsbury College students have successfully completed one of the most demanding mountain walks in the UK and have raised just over £3000 for a local disabled boy.

All 23 members of Shrewsbury College’s outdoor course took 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 trained really hard for the challenge, every Tuesday and Thursday up on the hills in Wales and practiced our navigation skills to prepare ourselves.”

Fellow student Sammy-Jo Jones, 17 from Shrewsbury, said: “It was really physically and mentally challenging for us all because it was so long and hot. We had two groups – 15 in the walking group and eight in the support group and everyone completed it. We are really pleased with the amount we have raised - £3046.76, and know that without what we are learning on the course, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve something like this.”

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 really tested the physical and mental stamina of the group of Level 3 Adventurous Activities students who took part. It's set in the heart of the Lake District and needed 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 to 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. 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.”

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