The team at Specsavers Brecon has helped Imogen Lewis, a six-year-old with cerebral palsy, climb South Wales’ highest peak for the first time – raising more than £900 for children with brain conditions along the way.
Imogen Ashwell-Lewis reached the top of Pen y Fan in a four-wheeled mountain bike that was specially modified for her by the children’s charity Cerebra.
She was joined by more than 40 people – including staff from Specsavers Brecon, army soldiers, other Specsavers staff and charity workers – some of whom were harnessed to her to help pull and push her up the mountain.
The fundraising challenge was co-organised by dispensing optician Hannah Shepherd, of Specsavers Brecon, and the Carmarthen-headquartered charity, which has been supporting children with neurological conditions and their families since 2001.
Imogen’s mum, Catherine, says: ‘Imogen is so thrilled and excited to have completed this climb. It’s only thanks to the team at Cerebra that she’s been able to have this adventure - she’s never been able to do anything like this before because of her cerebral palsy. There have been so many times that she hasn’t been able to join in with physical activities, which leaves her feeling left out. Being able to do things like this is a real boost to her confidence and self-esteem. She really is over the moon.’
The charity currently supports 4,500 families across Wales, with thousands more accessing information through their website.
‘Won’t forget in a hurry’
Clare Corcoran, store director at Specsavers Brecon, says: ‘Imogen and her family are an inspiration to us all, as are the services and support Cerebra provides to them and many other families across Wales. Imogen completing this challenge is something we won’t forget in a hurry. I’m proud of our staff for giving up their time to help Imogen and the charity achieve something wonderful.
‘I’m thrilled we have been able to help raise awareness of the charity’s work, and hope it will lead to more young children with brain conditions discovering ways to live a better life with their families.’
In addition to its support services and research work, Cerebra also has its Innovation Centre based within the University of Wales Trinity St David, where bespoke equipment is designed and created, free of charge, to make children’s lives easier.
Terry Osborn, acting Head of Corporates, Trusts and Legacies at Cerebra, says: ‘We’re delighted to have joined the Specsavers team for the Pen y Fan climb. To be able to take Imogen with is us was a privilege and really does demonstrate that we don’t believe there is any challenge that can’t be overcome.
‘The invaluable fundraising support from Specsavers means that our Innovation Centre will be able to help more children to overcome their challenges and discover the world around them.’