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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Summit special: six-year-old fundraiser hits world-wide headlines in his mountain climb for Derian House

Superstar Oscar Burrow has already captured the world’s attention with his attempt to scale the height of Mount Everest to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice.

The six-year-old’s challenge has caught the attention of global and national news outlets – and has featured on more than 136 different newspapers, news websites and TV reports, including BBC and ITV News, Mail Online, the Evening Standard, Yahoo News and the Independent.

Oscar’s first ever live radio interview saw him and dad, Matt, chatting to presenter and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Helen Skelton about how their challenge has “snowballed” on BBC Radio 5 Live (22 January).

The challenge even caught the attention of adventurer and author, Alastair Humphreys, who encouraged his followers to donate to Oscar’s JustGiving page.

And the official Pride of Britain Awards Twitter account tweeted: “What an incredible fundraising challenge, best of luck to Oscar and his family!”

Little Oscar, of Lancaster, hopes to raise £8,849 – the height of Mount Everest in metres – an amount that could send nine of Derian House’s families on holiday.

The intrepid climber is almost half way to his goal – and has so far summited six mountains.

When asked how he felt about all the attention he’s getting, Oscar said: “I’m not really surprised, I just know that I’ll complete the challenge and that daddy will talk to enough people to sponsor me.

“I can’t wait to climb Snowden next because I get to do it with my friend Ollie Perkins and together we can keep raising more money to send one of Derian’s families on holiday.”

Oscar will complete his seventh mountain in February with his school friend, Ollie.

He will finish his challenge with a grand finale and will climb Ben Nevis, the highest in Scotland, on the 70th anniversary of the first successful ascent of Mt Everest by Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay (29 May).

Oscar’s dad Matt said: “Oscar has an amazing attitude – he’s a superstar.

“Speaking with Helen Skelton on the radio was brilliant. So many people donated on our JustGiving page afterwards – and it was great to see that many of those left such kind messages to congratulate Oscar on what he’s doing.

“We’ve been making sure to practice before interviews – it was the first time he’s ever been interviewed live.

“Oscar’s mantra is ‘he who dares, wins!’ – a phrase taken from Del Boy in BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses. He is always aiming higher – he’ll say ‘what if we pass the goal?’

“We’ve been inundated with people who want to support Oscar and people who want to join us on the climbs. It’s just incredible that this was something that Oscar wanted to do. He wants to help send poorly children and their families on holiday.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if one day he actually goes and climbs Mount Everest for real.”

Kerry Pritchard, Community Fundraiser at Derian House, said: “We are all astonished at what little Oscar is doing – he is incredibly brave and generous!

“We are so grateful that he has chosen to raise money to send our families on holiday – it will mean the world to them.”

Derian House is able to offer 400 families a free week’s stay in their holiday lodges every year.

The hospice, based in Chorley, cares for more than 400 babies, children, young people and their families from across the North West and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It will cost £6 million to run services at Derian House in 2023, and so the charity relies on the generosity of its supporters for 70p in every £1. Find out more: www.derianhouse.co.uk

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