Andre’s Birthday Climb

Published by Alison Watson-Shields on

Sunday 11th August 2013 saw the birthday of Andre come around again. For those who don’t know, Andre is an avid supporter of local services for people with dementia and can be found regularly fundraising by taking part in walks, hikes and growing his beard! So you’re probably thinking at this point “why is that so amazing?” Well the thing is Andre is now 84 years old and still climbing mountains (and hills) to raise much needed funds for the local dementia services.

For regular readers of my blog, followers on twitter, or likers on Facebook then you will be aware that last year, on Andre’s 83rd birthday we climbed Skiddaw in Keswick, Lake District to raise money for the Fusion Dementia Cafe and Young At Heart ULO.

Sadly, a few months ago Andre approached me after climbing Helvellyn, another popular peak in the Lake District, to inform me that he felt it was time to hang up his hiking boots. Being someone who likes to challenge people I suggested maybe a smaller challenge would suffice and from there we came up with local National Trust site Roseberry Topping, a hill I frequently admire whilst driving down the A19 to work but had never actually visited (until now). That was it, the date and time were agreed and the fundraising began.

I contacted the people who had climbed Skiddaw with us last year and managed to talk 5 members from Our Version of Events ULO to join us.

My day began at 6am as I had to get myself up and ready before collecting the 5 OVOE members from their homes. Once I had everyone safe and secure in the car it was on to the car park at the foot of Roseberry Topping. Strangely, everyone arrived at the same time and within 10 minutes we were all ready to start our adventure to the highest point of the hill.

The climb was a lot steeper than I expected, but took the group just a little over 40 minutes. Once we reached the summit we gave Andre his card and present (a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne), sang ‘Happy Birthday’, drank Bucks Fizz and ate birthday cake.

Once we started to get a little restless we found a route back to the foot of the hill that took us around that back. It was very steep and rocky but in no time at all we were back at the car park and ready for a nap. The whole trip, including chatting, eating, drinking and walking took a little over 2 hours in total. I personally thoroughly enjoyed the experience and again would like to wish Andre many happy returns in his 84th year!

You can support Andre’s chosen charities by donating online at Virgin Money Giving

Categories: YAHBlog

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments