Boy, 6, climbing 12 mountains in UK to help 'poorly children at Derian House Hospice go on holiday'

A six-year-old boy from Lancaster has set himself the challenge of climbing 12 of the highest mountains in the UK has said he wants to help "poorly children go on holiday".

Oscar Burrow hopes to one day become the youngest person to summit Mount Everest, after he saw Sir Edmund Hillary climbing Mount Everest on TV.

Oscar's dad Matt Burrow, 38, said that when his son told him about his idea, he "tried to explain the reality of what climbing Mount Everest truly meant".

Matt said: "It was his dream and ambition and as parents, you do not want to see that ambition die, so we wanted to harness it.

"So we said, why don't we start Oscar on this journey by picking 12 UK mountains that if you added them all up from where you start to where you finish on every mountain would be of a similar height to that of Everest."

Oscar with his grandad Mark. Credit: Matt Burrow

So far, Oscar - who has interests in rock climbing, mountaineering and Bear Grylls - has summited six mountains, including Inglebrough in the Yorkshire Dales, which was the first mountain summited by Oscar on 9 October 2022, with Snowdon in Llanberis, Caernarfon the next on the cards for sometime in February.

The challenge is to finish on 29 May, when Oscar will hopefully summit Ben Nevis in Scotland - and this day holds a lot of significance as it will be the 70th anniversary of the first successful ascent of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

The youngster is raising money for Derian House Children's Hospice in Chorley, which offers respite and palliative care to children, young people and their families.

Oscar is raising money for Derian House. Credit: ITV News

Oscar said: "I want poorly children at Derian House Children's Hospice to go on holiday."

Mr Burrow added: "For some of these families, this is the only break they get and for some families, they'll experience their last memories with their loved ones at the lodges.

Despite "never really having done any serious hill walking" before the challenge, Oscar's grandad - Mark, 67, who is retired and has long been a fan of hikes - said his grandson took to the climbs quickly.

The weather has tried to stand in Oscar's way during the hiking adventure, but he has not let it stop him from reaching his goal.

Oscar said that his "scariest" moment was on Helvellyn in the Lake District "when I almost blew off and grandad and daddy had to hold onto me".

Oscar with his family. Credit: Matt Burrow

"My favourite mountain was Blencathra in the Lake District which I did with my friend Oliver Perkins, six, and I had to hold onto daddy's leg and put my head behind him (because of a hailstorm at the top)", he added.

Almost £5,500 has been raised on Oscar's JustGiving page so far, with support coming from as far as the USA.

Matt said: "Many have left comments saying that Oscar is so inspirational, but there's many that are more touching than that, which are from people whose families have gone through similar experiences to the people who Oscar is fundraising for.

"We get people who express thanks as their family member is using the hospice or might need to."

Oscar and dad Matt. Credit: Matt Burrow

Becoming the youngest person to summit Mount Everest is something which Oscar hopes to achieve in the future.

Matt said: "A brief Google back at the beginning of the challenge found that someone around the age of 13 reached the summit of Mount Everest and Oscar told me, 'I've got seven years.'

"I know one day he will be stood on the top of Mount Everest and hope that I will be there with him. We are all immensely proud of him."

Oscar hopes that his catchphrase "I will do it" will spread to fellow budding adventurers, no matter their age.