What's going on

Home Fundraiser Tales: Ben and Kerry’s O2 climb

Fundraiser Tales: Ben and Kerry’s O2 climb

O2 Arena image

This Fundraiser Tale comes from Ben and Kerry. They are about to climb the O2 Arena in London on the 5th July to raise vital funds for Challengers.

Ben and Kerry image


Challengers has been part of our family for many years now. When Ben was younger he attended Farnham play from the ages of 4 to 11. We accessed play days during the holiday periods where children attend without their parents, and family days where we could all play.

Challengers nurture children whatever their impairment may be which aids their development physically, emotionally and socially. Challengers staff ensure that the children in their care have just the best time whilst they are there. For Ben he loved the outside play spaces, the sensory room, the soft play room, the art room, and the kitchen. Days there were just about fun. Nothing else, just having fun.

As a parent there is nothing better than seeing your child beaming and hearing them laugh knowing that they are in a safe environment. For many families Challengers is the only social situation their child has access to outside of school. Challengers provides routine during the holidays and respite where a family can have a break and in some families this allows uninterrupted time to be focused on siblings.

Caring for a child with an impairment can be a very stressful experience and so for some Challengers makes the difference between a family staying together rather than breaking up. Staff know each child so well which is amazing when they care for so many. Challengers is simply an extension of our family and it was the best feeling in the world to arrive at the end of the day and hear nothing but excitement.

Ben is now challenging himself to enable other children with an impairment to have fun because he knows how good that feels.


I don’t know if I am ready to do this but I am willing to face my fear for charity. I don’t know where my fear of falling from heights has come from. I avoid being near high places. I avoid going in elevators. Although I have a really big fear of heights I have a curiosity to look down as that lets me know what I am up against. I won’t actively seek out going into or up in a high building because of my fear.

I have had challenges with anxiety for many years but I really want to do this in aid of Challengers. Anxiety doesn’t get any easier but as I get older I am learning different ways to help manage it. I’ve had some hypnotherapy to help with my fear of heights – we will be testing it out when I climb the O2.

Children and young people who come to Challengers face a challenge every day. These challenges may prevent them from having fun with friends, or being able to go to places to have fun. My anxiety can make me feel quite isolated. Isolation is horrible and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I want to raise money for Challengers because I don’t want other children or young people to feel isolated.

And finally, a few words from Cader MacPhail, our Community Fundraising Manager:

We are so excited for Ben to conquer his fears and scale the iconic O2 arena with his mum in aid of Challengers. Ben and Kerry are fantastic supporters of Challengers and we are so grateful to them both for taking on this impressive challenge.

All the money that Ben and Kerry raise in support of their upcoming challenge will go towards providing inclusive play opportunities for local disabled children and young people. We think it’s really awesome that Ben is facing his fears so that disabled children can have somewhere to go to hang out with their friends and have tonnes of fun.

You can show your support by following this link and sponsoring them on their JustGiving page.

Image credits: © Copyright Christine Matthews and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.