Challenging Disability Through Outdoor Adventure



Matthew’s Mountain!

Saturday 10th August was a very special day for Matthew Miles.  With a lot of help from family and friends Matthew conquered his mountain and ‘climbed’ to the top of Skiddaw.

What was so special about this?  Well, Matthew has cerebral palsy and is a wheelchair user. 

This is what was wrote on Matthew’s behalf in the lead up to our climb:

“Hi everybody, my name is Matthew Miles; I am 28 years old and have been living on the edge of the Lake District for most of my life. It is a fantastic place to live, but because I am a wheelchair user, it is not always easy to enjoy the hills and lakes in the same way that others can.

This is where the Calvert Trust comes in! They make the impossible possible!!

When I was much younger I used to go every week to the Calvert Trust on the side of Bassenthwaite to use their lovely warm swimming pool. I then started going horse riding and trap driving. Since then I have been on 6 residential courses at the Centre, where I have canoed, sailed, abseiled, been on lots of walks and much more.

Now it is ‘payback time’!! And it is time for a really big challenge!! Skiddaw here we come!!

The Calvert Trust has done so much for me and my family. We want to do something for them. We want to raise lots and lots of money to help them help other people like me. The Lake District is there to be enjoyed ……. By EVERYBODY!!”

As you will understand, this amazing challenge had two main aims:  Firstly to try and achieve something Matthews family had thought about for many years and wondered if was possible…. to get Matthew to the top of Skiddaw, and secondly to raise money for the Calvert Trust. 

 

Matthew on the way up Skiddaw

 

The climb was led by a group of 7 ‘off-duty’ Calvert Trust instructors assisted by 20 friends.  Matthew ‘rode’ on a 4 wheeled bike which we had adapted specially for the purpose and which was then pushed and pulled all the way up the bumpy, stony and often very steep path to the top of the mountain.

We set off at 9.30 am in mist and light rain, arriving exhausted but very elated at the summit about 3 hours later.  Despite the strong wind on top and the cloud obscuring the views, it was a truly amazing feeling to be on the top of Skiddaw with Matthew.  A dream come true.  And what a fabulous group of friends there to help us.  Fellow climbers cheered as we arrived through the mist at the summit and cameras appeared from everywhere to record this extraordinary event.  

The journey back was equally slow as we picked our way carefully down the stony path.  In many places Matthew and his ‘chariot’ had to be carried rather than pulled along, but this didn’t faze our Calvert Trust friends, who took every obstacle in their stride with confidence and skill.

The champagne popped as we celebrated together at the bottom some 6 hours after setting off.

 

Celebration at the end of the day

 

So far we have raised nearly £2000 for the Calvert Trust in sponsorship, and hope to add to this in the coming weeks.  Anyone who would still like to support Matthew in this can donate by visiting www.justgiving.com/Matthew-Miles1008 .


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