Tony climbs Orrest Head

WE love to see how life makes connections for us here in the Lakes. We have been supporters of the Lake District Foundation and their Fix the Fells project for very many years. And for just the last few months we’ve been following the story of 8-year-old double amputee Tony Hudgell and his remarkable achievements.

So when Steve Tonkin from the Foundation told us about  Tony’s plans to summit a Lake District “mountain” we knew this was something to support. Tony was going to do this to raise funds for a number of charities including the Bendrigg Trust and Fix the Fells. And what a day it proved to be!

Tony, who lost both legs through abuse suffered when he was a baby, has already received an award for his fundraising walks. Now he has climbed to the 238-metre summit of Orrest Head where he celebrated with mountaineer Chris Bonington and Hari Budha Magar, former corporal in the British Army’s Gurkha regiment, who lost both legs but recently scaled Everest.

Summit celebrations for Tony and his support team, with Chris Bonington and Hari

We were there too, with a celebration cake having learned that his favourite was chocolate – of course. And our staff prepared a mammoth picnic feast, making sandwiches for all the marshals who helped Tony on his brave climb from the base of the fell.

“It was a really moving experience and we felt very proud to be there with him,” said Vicky Robinson, the wife of the Burn How proprietor. She handed Tony the cake on a plate and asked him to cut a slice, and to make a wish as he did so “but he wasn’t to tell anyone what that wish was for.”

Thanks so much to Steve and the Lake District Foundation for letting us be part of the adventure, and massive congratulations to a very brave young boy.