Two young brothers from Lewes have reached the summit of Everest after walking the South Downs each day throughout lockdown to raise money for a Sussex hospice.
Dougie Pattison, eight, and Tom Pattison, five, have been walking to the top of the Sussex Downs almost every day of lockdown, to try scale the same height as Everest - 29,029 feet.
Along the way, they have been fundraising for St Wilfrid’s Hospice where their great uncle was cared for before he passed away in December.
Sad when their school, Iford and Kingston C of E Primary, closed its gates due to coronavirus at the end of March, the two boys wanted to set themselves a positive challenge. Choosing to climb Kingston Ridge and tracking their progress on their dad’s Strava account.
After 65 climbs, the two young boys finally summited in the wind and the rain on Saturday afternoon (July 4), climbing the equivalent of the world’s tallest mountain and clocking up more than 141 miles of walking along the way.
Their efforts have been cheered on by their family, friends, neighbours, teachers and classmates, helping the boys raise more than £1,000 for the hospice.
They even got a video message of support from a real-life Everest climber, Nick Talbot. The boys also turned their climb into a school project and built a website with their parents, to track their challenge and to learn more about Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay, the first recorded people to summit Everest.
Mum and dad, Helen and Guy Pattison, said: “We’re incredibly proud of Dougie and Tom.
“They have approached this challenge with so much enthusiasm and have created some fantastic memories for us all during this difficult time.
“I don’t think they fully appreciate just what they’ve achieved!
“We hope their story of lockdown, when they look back on it, will be all the more positive thanks to this amazing adventure.”
Alex Burch, Community Fundraising Manager at St Wilfrid's Hospice, said:
“They’ve done brilliantly – it’s a huge achievement and they should be so pleased and proud of their efforts."
If you want advice on creating a fundraising challenge as unique as you are please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01243 755302.