A good ‘climb’ was had by all when families enjoyed a night of thrills and spills at an adventure centre.
The fun-filled session, for children, young people and families being cared for and supported by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), was held at Clip ‘n Climb Ipswich.
More than 50 people had the centre to themselves and, after being treated to a spread of food, they burnt off lots of energy in the climbing area.
During the session, they conquered fears, taking on dozens of climbing challenges, with some plucking up the courage to reach the highest points.
One of those to flourish was Olivia Alvares-Pilcher.
The 13-year-old was born with a rare genetic condition called Mowat-Wilson syndrome. It is characterised by a number of health defects, including global developmental delay, epilepsy, Hirschsprung’s disease, which has led to multiple bowel operations, hypermobility of the joints and microphthalmia. She is non-verbal and blind in the right eye.
Mum Maria said: “She had such an amazing night.
“I felt a bit nervous to start with. I wasn’t sure how she’d get on or cope with the climbing, because it’s not something she’d ever done before.
“However, I needn’t have worried because she absolutely loved it and had a great time.
“The staff were brilliant with her and I was genuinely surprised by how high she climbed – not just once but two or three times. She did so well.
“It takes a lot of courage to climb that high and I was very proud of her. It was a real achievement.”
Lucy Hynes, EACH’s Groups and Events Co-ordinator at The Treehouse, said she was very grateful to Clip ‘n Climb Ipswich.
“Sixteen families were represented – a mix of bereaved and non-bereaved – and they enjoyed some special, quality time together,” she said.
“It couldn’t have gone any better and was a great way to finish the year.
“Seeing children conquer their fears was a joy for us all and this is so much more than a climbing night.
“Clip ‘n Climb Ipswich has been a wonderful supporter throughout the year and its staff so lovely and attentive.
“It was our fourth event of this nature and we already have dates in the diary for 2024, with more sessions at Easter, during the summer and just before Christmas.”
Mark Patterson, Clip ‘n Climb Ipswich director, said: “This is always a lovely night and we’re very proud to help and facilitate it.
“It’s very humbling and our staff are always blown away by the positivity of everybody involved. It’s a joy to be part of.”