Staff at Specsavers Abergavenny have helped a six-year-old with cerebral palsy climb Pen y Fan for the first time while raising awareness of a local children’s charity work.

Challenge to raise awareness

Imogen Ashwell-Lewis, who lives in Caldicot, was helped up South Wales’ highest mountain by a team of more than 40 people, including staff from the Abergavenny store, Imogen’s family, charity workers, army soldiers and other Specsavers staff.

The challenge was organised in aid of Cerebra, a charity based in Carmarthen that supports children with brain conditions and their families.

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 Abergavenny store is raising funds for Cerebra as part of a year-long charity partnership, alongside 39 other stores in South and Mid Wales. Cerebra supports 4,500 families across Wales and thousands more access its services online.

Thrilled to help

Sejal Shah, store director at Specsavers Abergavenny, 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. I’m proud of our staff for giving up their time to help Imogen and the charity achieve something so special.

‘We are thrilled to 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.’

As well as guidance and support for families, Cerebra operates an Innovation Centre in Swansea, creating bespoke equipment – such as modified wheelchairs – for children.

Imogen’s bike was created by Calvin Williams of Project ENDURO – a collaboration between experts at Swansea University, Gower College Swansea and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Project ENDURO was supported by AgorIP, based at Swansea University’s School of Management, who are partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

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’.

All Abergavenny store information