Local man Ben Knight, has challenged himself to climb the 5 highest peaks to raise vital funds to support children who have experienced developmental trauma and neglect in their early lives.
Kicking off on the 7thJuly, Ben will travel to climb the 5 highest peaks in 5 different countries in Western Europe. The 4 highest peaks in the UK will start with Slieve Donoghue, N Ireland, then on to Scarfell Pike, England, Mt Snowden, Wales and Ben Nevis in Scotland. This then culminates in September with a week long trek to the summit of Mt Blanc in France, which stands at 4,810m above sea level.
Ben, from Plymouth, explains his motivation for this personal challenge, “Having worked with children in sport for most of my adult life, first as a tennis coach and then through our holiday camps business, High 5 multi sports and outdoor activities, I have always had lots of contact time with children. I have successfully worked closely with both the child themselves and also their parents or other family members, as it is a team effort to help any young person to achieve their potential within their chosen sport.
“I have witnessed first-hand the positive and significant impact that parents can have on the development of their kids if they apply the right amount of support, love and nurture to help the child realise their ambition.
“I believe that every child deserves to experience the love and support of adults who want the best for them and will prioritise that young persons’ needs.
“So encouraging families to be active and at the same time doing something to support a charity like Families for Children, who aim to place young people into loving and supportive families, seemed like a very worthwhile reason to challenge myself and hopefully encourage others to be active by simply getting out and walking some miles”.
Families for Children provide vital adoption support services for children across the South West from their centre in Buckfast, Devon. At any one time they are supporting over 120 families through their family strengthening unit and therapeutic support services. They also continue to search for adoptive families for the 4,500 children currently waiting in Local Authority foster care across the UK.
Ruth Marriott, CEO of the charity says, “Wewere generously approached by Ben who had challenged himself to walk/climb the 5 highest peaks early this year. Ben was looking for a charity to support whilst completing the challenge. He has had personal experience of coaching children in foster care, and understands how a family's support, love and nurturing can help a child realise their ambition. The values held by Families for Children in finding adoptive families and the services we provide in supporting the children and young people fitted perfectly with Ben’s beliefs”.
In support of Ben’s challenge for Families for Children they are inviting everyone to ‘Get Active’ with their families this summer, whilst helping raise funds for the charity and join their Miles for Smiles - Every Step for Adoption campaign!
Ruth says, “The Miles for Smiles campaign will enable all our friends and families to support and engage with Ben's personal challenge by challenging them and their families to collectively walk around the world between 7th July and 14th October 2019 – that’s 24,901 miles! We know we can do it with your help!”
The charity are holding a launch event on Sunday 7thJuly at Lukesland Gardens from 11am. Patron Judi Spiers, will be kicking things off with a live interview with Ben about his motivation for the walk and his decision to support the charity. Families will also be able to walk with Ben around the gardens and enjoy a family picnic before sending him off to Northern Ireland!
For more details about the campaign visit www.familiesforchildren.org.uk/m4s
Contact Antonia or Katey on 01364 645480