Fundraisers of 2023: Boy climbs 12 mountains and a Hope Bowl for Ukraine

Fundraisers of 2023: Boy climbs 12 mountains and a Hope Bowl for Ukraine
Oscar Burrow takes on National Three Peaks Challenge in 24 hours to raise money for a hospice (Matt Burrow/PA)
Matt Burrow/PA

There were several inspiring fundraisers in 2023, from a seven-year-old climbing 12 UK mountains to “help poorly children go on holiday” to a man taking on challenges donning a pair of bright blue swimming trunks.

Here is a look at some of the PA news agency’s top picks from across the year.

– Boy, seven, climbs 12 UK mountains ‘to help poorly children go on holiday’

Oscar Burrow, seven, from Lancaster went viral for attempting to climb 12 of the highest mountains in the UK in a bid to help “poorly children to go on holiday”.

Over a nine-month period, Oscar climbed mountains including Snowdon and Scafell Pike to raise more than £34,000 so that “poorly children” could spend time at lodges at Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley.

Man standing next to boy and smiling at the cameraMatt Burrow (left) with son, Oscar, who hiked across mountains in the UK to raise money for a hospice (Matt Burrow/PA)

In June, the youngster received a letter from Kensington Palace, from the Prince of Wales, congratulating him on completing the 12 peaks.

“Oscar was quite amazed to get the letter because you don’t expect to get that sort of mail and it was very personalised,” Mr Burrow told PA.

– Teenage boy raises £278,000 for Ukraine with ‘Hope Bowl’

Viral sensation Gabriel Clark created a Hope Bowl for Ukraine in April to raise £278,000 for Save the Children and later became one of the youngest winners at this year’s JustGiving awards.

Boy holds handmade bowlTeenager Gabriel Clark won a JustGiving award after creating his Hope Bowl for Ukraine (Save The Children)

The teenager caught the attention of celebrities including Stephen Fry, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Jeremy Bowen for his Hope Bowl – a wooden bowl he carved, which was etched with a blue-and-yellow ring in the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

The youngster, who lives in Cumbria, told PA: “I never thought I’d raise the money I have raised.”

– Speedo Mick raises £1m with last challenge

By April, Michael Cullen, better known as Speedo Mick because of his eye-catching attire, had officially raised £1 million over seven years trekking across the country wearing only his bright blue swimming trunks.

Money raised by the 58-year-old from Liverpool went towards a charitable trust he set up – SpeedoMick Foundation – to provide grants to grassroots charities that support mental health, disadvantaged young people and the homeless.

Speedo Mick charity walkMick Cullen, otherwise known as Speedo Mick, walks through Glencoe in sub-zero temperatures wearing only his swimming trunks (Jane Barlow/PA)PA Archive/PA Images - Jane Barlow

“I’m an ordinary fella just trying to do some extraordinary things,” he told PA.

– Three men living with prostate cancer attempt Yorkshire Three Peaks for charity

In May, Kevin Webber, 58, Paul Dennington, 57, and Ian Tetsill, 52, hiked a total of 24 miles and reached heights of 5,200ft walking up and down Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent and Whernside for Prostate Cancer UK.

Mr Webber told PA: “I have three missions in life – Number one is enjoy yourself every day, but never at the expense of someone else, number two is to make the best memories for you, your family, and friends, and number three is to do some good every day.”

– Major Mick raising money in a homemade tin boat wins JustGiving award

Michael Stanley, who is also known as Major Mick, was named creative fundraiser of the year at the JustGiving awards in September after rowing his homemade Titanic boat for charity.

Mr Stanley, from Chichester, West Sussex, collected more than £11,000 for the Children on the Edge charity, which supports families in Ukraine.

Michael Stanley charity rowMichael Stanley, known as ‘Major Mick’ completes his Tintanic rowing charity challenge at Chichester Yacht Club, Birdham (Ben Mitchell/PA)PA Archive/PA Images - Ben Mitchell

He rowed 125 miles across lakes and rivers in Britain in the past year in his tin boat, which is largely made out of two sheets of corrugated iron.

He told budding creative fundraisers to “go for whatever comes into your mind which you think would be fun to do”.

– Fundraiser ‘Man With The Pram’ delighted after raising £1m for Macmillan

Pensioner, John Burkhill, from Handsworth, Sheffield – who dedicated his life to raising £1 million for Macmillan Cancer Support as The Man With The Pram, said he was “humbled” and “blown away” after hitting his target in May.

Donning his decorated pram, trademark green wig and giant foam hand, Mr Burkhill collected cash from people he met across the city.

Man dressed in green with a giant green hand pushing a pramSheffield’s Man With The Pram, John Burkhill, is celebrating hitting his £1 million fundraising target (PA/Macmillan)

The pensioner said: “People have said I’m a hero and legend, but those people who have put money in the bucket and donated, they are the heroes.”

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