A local man is planning to attempt the Three Peaks Challenge to raise much needed money for Pens Meadow Parent Outreach Service.
32 year-old Anthony Cokeley, who works for Dudley CVS, is looking to raise over £2500 for the local specialist school that is helping his six-year-old son Rhys come to terms with his cerebral palsy and complex learning needs.
He will swap his day job as interim manager to take on three of the UK’s highest mountains, starting with Ben Nevis on June 20th and followed by Scaffel Pike and Snowdon in just four days.
Charity fundraising efforts are being backed by friends, teachers and Coleshill-based Candidate Source, who met Anthony through its support of Lunch on the Run.
The online recruitment advertising agency has donated £1000 to kick-start the campaign and to help with purchasing waterproofs and other equipment, including a Deuter Kid Carrier that will transport Rhys up the final mountain so he can complete his own challenge at the same time.
“Rhys was born premature at 28 weeks and this caused a lot of complex issues, including cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus and epilepsy. Despite all of these things to overcome, he’s still a happy, cheerful 6 year-old with an appetite for a challenge,” explained Anthony.
“We moved him to Pens Meadow at the start of the year and the care and support he’s received has been phenomenal and it is really helping him with his day-to-day life and development.”
He continued: “I was also very impressed with the Outreach team, who helped with the transition and made sure I was ok during the process. It’s very tough being a Dad and a carer and having their support, advice and guidance has made a massive difference.
“That’s why I wanted to give something back and doing The Three Peaks seemed the perfect way to do it. We’re looking to raise £2500 and I’ve already had great support from Candidate Source, my employer Dudley CVS and friends and family.”
Some of the money that will hopefully be generated will be used by the Pens Meadow Outreach team to deliver activities to the families of pupils.
One example is a desire to develop a ‘siblings group’ as a way of extending support to the sibling of the child with additional needs, a vital service to often overlooked members of the family.
Michelle Davies, Managing Director of Candidate Source, added her support: “We met Anthony through our partnership with Lunch on the Run and was immediately engrossed by his story and Rhys’ unbelievable personality.
“There was no question we would get involved so have kick-started the fundraising with a donation and also purchased the rucksack that will carry our little hero up the final peak. We wish them all the best for their challenge.”
Anthony concluded: “I haven’t done much training, but I know I’ll complete the Three Peaks. I’ll be on my own for the first two and then, for Snowdon, I’ll be joined by some of the teachers who will do the climb with us.
“Rhys won’t have many more opportunities to share a challenge like this with his Dad and I know he’s even more excited than me to get started.”
To find out more and donate to The Three Peaks challenge, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/Pens-Meadow