Ipswich scouting group climb height of Mount Everest in memory of friend
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Some forty youngsters climbed the height of Mount Everest on Saturday, raising money in the memory of their “sociable, smiley” friend.
Beavers, cubs and scouts arrived at AVID Climbing on Ransomes industrial estate, with children from as young as six years old rolling up their sleeves to help collectively reach the target of 8,845 metres.
Sam died on February 5 from Dravet Syndrome (DS), a rare, lifelong form of epilepsy.
His scout group was determined to do something in Sam’s memory, and to raise money for the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice Treehouse Centre in Ipswich, where Sam had been looked after.
“We got up and ran with it for the kids,” explained Neil Speariett, who is the section assistant at the 10th Ipswich Wednesday Scout group and also a freelance instructor at AVID Climbing.
“They’ve all been collecting sponsorship. They’ve been really motivated.
“There were a couple of kids who couldn’t make it, and they were devastated, but they’ve still been fundraising, and they sent messages through on the night.”
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He was expecting around 26 cubs, beavers and scouts to participate, but was delighted to see around forty cubs, beavers and scouts on the night.
Not all of those who took part would have known Sam personally, but Neil said that the nevertheless, the whole group pulled together to do something to remember him.
“It’s very close-knit,” he said.
Kevin Bean, Cub Scout Leader for the Rainbow Section, has known Sam since he became a beaver in 2017.
“Sam was very sociable, very smiley, and he got on well with all the other cubs," he said.
“He was a trier; he would have a go at everything. He did all the activities, and he’d take part in the outdoor cooking. He got the Chef’s award, and many others.
“He could communicate, although he wasn’t able to speak. We got to know how Sam was feeling.
“He would laugh if others were laughing.”
So far, the scouting group has raised around £2,300 in memory of Sam. To contribute, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/everestinanevening