The Maesteg team has helped a six-year-old with cerebral palsy climb Pen y Fan for the first time, to help raise awareness of a local children’s charity.
A step above the rest
Imogen Ashwell-Lewis, from Caldicot, reached the top of South Wales’ highest peak in a specially-modified four-wheel bike by local children’s charity Cerebra. She was supported by more than 40 people – including the Maesteg team, her family, army soldiers, other Specsavers staff and charity workers.
The challenge aimed to raise awareness for the Carmarthen-headquartered charity’s work with families who have children with brain conditions.
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.’
Specsavers Maesteg and 39 other Specsavers stores across South and Mid Wales are raising funds for Cerebra as part of a year-long charity partnership. The charity currently supports 4,500 families across Wales, with thousands more accessing information through their website.
‘An inspiration to us all’
Simon Morris, store director at Specsavers Maesteg, 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.’
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’.