School pupils have climbed the height of Mount Everest in a single day to support the vital work of the air ambulance.
A group of boys aged between seven and 16 from Wilds Lodge School, in Empingham, scaled a 7.5 metre climbing wall an amazing 1,180 times – giving a total of 8,850 metres, two metres higher than Everest.
It was expected to take the group of around 60 pupils 12 hours to complete the sponsored challenge, but they actually achieved it in nine and a quarter.
So far, £495 has been raised for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance and donations are still coming in.
Teaching assistant Olly Duggan, who organised the event with help from David Loseby of Oundle-based Nene Extreme Adventure, has first-hand experience of the valuable service provided by air ambulances. As a teenager, he fell while climbing in Pembrokeshire and had to be airlifted to hospital with a number of serious injuries.
Olly said: “It was an amazing effort from all who took part on the day.
“The climbing wall can take four climbers at a time and we had boys going up and down constantly from 9am in the morning until 6.15pm when we completed it. Some did just a few climbs up while others did over 100.”
Wilds Lodge School is an independent specialist boarding and day school for boys with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties aged between 5 and 18.
Olly said those who have taken part in climbing sessions with the school have found it very beneficial.
He said: “Climbing is something which Wilds Lodge pupils get a lot out of as an enrichment to normal school life. We regularly visit climbing walls in Peterborough and Loughborough.
“It’s great for general fitness, but also helps with problem-solving, facing fears and team work.”
To support Wild Lodge School’s fundraising effort, visit http://bit.ly/293o5yK