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Once a supporter gets a taste of fundraising they often go on to do bigger and better challenges each time raising more vital funds for Helen & Douglas House. We are so pleased to see that this even extends to our young fundraisers, who are out and about again! Last year, during lockdown, Ethan dressed up as his hero teacher and raised vital funds for the hospice. This year, throughout August, he pushed himself even harder and climbed the equivalent height of Ben Nevis at his local climbing wall and raised £322.

Ethan young fundraiser

Ethan Baynes, aged nine, from Bicester, raised £322 for us by climbing the height of Ben Nevis at the Clip ‘n’ Climb Centre in Bicester. In total, he climbed a staggering 4,413ft which was made up of 193 trips up and down the wall over six sessions during August. He chose to raise money for Helen & Douglas House because he was inspired by his teacher at King’s Meadow Primary School, Richard Laurie, who has raised over £20,000 for Helen & Douglas since his son died in 2014, including running the London Marathon.

In 2007 Thomas Laurie was diagnosed with an extremely rare genetic condition, Cockayne Syndrome, which causes premature ageing and life expectancy is severely shortened. We provided specialist care and support for Thomas and his family and end-of-life care when it was needed. Ellie, Thomas’ older sister, also joined The Elephant Club, a club for siblings offering counselling and the opportunity to have fun and share experiences with other children who have or had, a brother or sister with a life-shortening condition.

Richard Laurie and Family

This is the second time Ethan has raised money to help local terminally ill children. In spring 2020, when he was first inspired by his teacher Richard Laurie who was running the London Marathon, Ethan dressed up as a marathon runner for the King’s Meadow Primary School sporting hero day and raised £388 for Helen & Douglas House.

Ethan said ‘I set myself a challenge to climb the equivalent height of Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the UK. This is 4,413ft! I wanted to raise money for Helen & Douglas House to help children who are not as lucky as me being able to do sports like this.

‘Helen & Douglas House hospice improves the lives of local children with life-shortening conditions like Thomas, enabling families to create happy memories which will last forever. £250 could fund an animal visit to the hospice so that the children can interact with lots of animals, including rabbits, chicks and lambs. Stroking an animal helps to stimulate the child’s senses and these sessions are always great fun for the whole family. The money I have raised will hopefully go towards an activity like this at the hospice for local terminally ill children, like Thomas, to enjoy.’

‘I’m inspired by my teacher Mr Laurie because he trained really hard just to raise money for others and not to be rich and famous. He has inspired me to have a growth mindset in all I do and I wanted to raise money for Helen & Douglas House too’

Alison Hooker said ‘I would like to congratulate Ethan on climbing Ben Nevis and raising so much money for Helen & Douglas House. It has been a tough 18 months for everyone and particularly local families with terminally ill children who have had to isolate and not had the normal support they get from friends and family, so they have needed our help more than ever. We are so grateful to amazing supporters like Ethan. Without their donations, we would not be able to help families like Richard’s. Ethan is such an amazing young man who I am sure inspires many other children to raise money for us too.’

If you would like to help Ethan raise even more money for Helen & Douglas House, you can donate on his Just Giving page


By making a donation today, however young or old you are, you can help us care for local children living with life-shortening, and terminal conditions, and help them make precious memories together that will last a lifetime.