The store director of Specsavers Haverfordwest, Paul Skoczek, has helped a six-year-old girl with cerebral palsy climb Pen y Fan for the first time.

Rising to the occasion

Imogen Ashwell-Lewis reached the top of South Wales’ highest peak yesterday in a specially-modified four-wheel bike. More than 40 people – including Mr Skoczek, Imogen’s family, army soldiers, other Specsavers staff and charity workers - joined her.

The challenge aimed to raise awareness of the support Carmarthen-headquartered charity Cerebra provides to children with brain conditions and their families.

‘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,’ says Mr Skoczek. ‘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.’

Speaking after the challenge, Imogen’s mum, Catherine, adds: ‘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.’

Invaluable support

In addition to its support services and research work, Cerebra also has an 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’.

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