“My sister had an amazing spirit and that’s what we wanted to epitomise during this challenge. I know she’d have loved it” – Danielle and Co. take on the Three Peaks in memory of former EACH physiotherapist Karen

A steely fundraiser laced up her walking boots for a poignant charity challenge supporting the children’s hospice where her late sister worked.

Danielle Thomas was joined by six friends for the Three Peaks Challenge, which involves climbing the highest mountains of England, Scotland and Wales. They started with Ben Nevis, in Scotland, before moving onto Scafell Pike, in the Lake District, and then Snowdon, in Wales – all within 24 hours. Danielle and Co. were raising funds for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) as sister Karen, who died suddenly last July, aged 28, was a physiotherapist at Milton.

After impressing during a spell volunteering, she was offered a role and worked at the hospice from January 2018 until April 2020. During that time she helped re-establish the hydrotherapy service and put systems in place to ensure it was well-run. She trained staff and helped train the physiotherapist who replaced her after deciding to move on.

“Karen always put others first and she’d be up there smiling, knowing the money raised is going to make a difference,” said Danielle, who is based in Southampton. “She was passionate about her job and loved working with children. She loved being with them in the pool and they loved her. She reassured them and made them feel safe. Karen was in my thoughts the whole time and would definitely have approved of the challenge, because she loved that kind of thing.

“One of her passions was helping disadvantaged people achieve and do things they didn’t think possible. She didn’t want them to miss out on anything so put herself out to make things happen. She had an amazing spirit and that’s what we wanted to epitomise during this challenge. We did it on her behalf and I know she’d have loved it.”

The total walking distance within the Three Peaks Challenge is 23 miles (37km) and the ascent 3,064 metres (10,052ft). The total driving distance is 462 miles.

“I knew it was going to be tough,” said Danielle, 26. “I’ve done a lot of cycling since the pandemic, including some long rides. I also enjoy hiking but hadn’t taken on anything like this before, so was stepping into the unknown. The hardest one of the three was Scafell Pike. It was like walking up a ladder for two hours, while also having to watch where you put your feet to make sure you didn’t fall or trip.

“It really tested us in terms of mental resolve and that was a big part of the challenge – battling demons or negative thoughts that popped into our heads. It certainly helped being in a group, because we were able to inspire and motivate each other. We drew on each other and it was important to keep soldiering on during the dips and lows, knowing how to deal with those moments.”

The challenge took place on 10th and 11th June and Danielle was delighted to raise £2,500, which is being split between EACH and The Back Up Trust – a charity that supports people affected by spinal cord injury across the UK.

“I’m thrilled and the support we’ve had has been incredible,” she said. “I was shocked but very pleased and proud to raise so much money.”

To show your support and make a donation, head here.

Notes to Editors

“EACH has made us all feel part of an extended family and, thanks to staff and fellow families, we’re not alone with problems. We always leave The Treehouse feeling positive, stronger and thankful.”

  • We care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, and support their families.
  • We offer families flexibility and control over where they receive their care and support, including where their child dies – at home, in hospital or at one of three hospices at Milton (Cambridge), The Nook (Norfolk) and The Treehouse (Ipswich).
  • Our family-centred approach includes specialist nursing care, symptom management support, short breaks, wellbeing activities, therapies and counselling, all meeting the individual needs of the child, young person and whole family.
  • We are recognised as leaders in our field, with a reputation for excellence and commitment to pioneering development and innovation.
  • We rely on voluntary donations for the majority of our income and this year need to raise £5.8 million from fundraising and £6.5 million in income from our shops. The year before the pandemic we received just 16% of our total income from statutory sources.
  • EACH Royal Patron –Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales.
  • For more information about EACH, including forthcoming events and how you can help raise funds,visit each.org.uk or call our Suffolk fundraisers on 01473 917965.

Keep in touch:


For further information about this release please contact:

Matt Plummer | Media and PR Manager | 07738 328058 | Matt.Plummer@each.org.uk

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