Taking to new heights for little Alex Craven

Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express.
Story:  GH Autos in Castleford are sponsoring a group of people who are trekking up Ben Nevis to support the Alex Craven fund.
L to R) Louise Garrett, Garry Heath, Alex Craven with mum Sarah, Gareth Edwards and Lee Lindley.
Reporter: Laura Drysdale.
Photographer: Andrew Bellis.
Photo date: 14/03/16
Picture Ref: AB110a0316

Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express. Story: GH Autos in Castleford are sponsoring a group of people who are trekking up Ben Nevis to support the Alex Craven fund. L to R) Louise Garrett, Garry Heath, Alex Craven with mum Sarah, Gareth Edwards and Lee Lindley. Reporter: Laura Drysdale. Photographer: Andrew Bellis. Photo date: 14/03/16 Picture Ref: AB110a0316

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A team of seventeen walkers will climb Britain’s highest mountain to help a little boy have life-changing surgery.

The walkers will take on the gruelling challenge of hiking 1,345m up Ben Nevis in May, for the Alex Craven fund.

Four-year-old Alex, of Glass Houghton, was born eight weeks premature with a form or cerebral palsy.

His family hope to raise £60,000 to send him to America for selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery, which could enable him to live independently and free of pain.

Gareth Edwards, 38, is organising the fundraising trek.

Mr Edwards, who also arranged Alex Fest - a day of live music to support Alex’s cause , said: “I wanted to step it up a little bit this time to try to raise more money for Alex by doing something physical.

“I was going to take part myself but am gutted that I’m no longer able to due to an injury to my ankle. But I’m doing all the organising and all I can to help those taking part.

“I think everyone is feeling nervous because no one has done it before. It’s going to be hard work but a big achievement.”

Alex’s mum Sarah Craven said she was overwhelmed by the support the family had received.

She said: “It is amazing to have so much support and not even just from friends but people that I don’t even know coming forward and offering to help us out. It would make a huge difference to Alex’s life to have the surgery. It is what he really needs.”

Mr Edwards said: “Alex is a brilliant kid and doesn’t deserve this. It is a lot of money to have to raise and I just want to help him and his family. I will keep fundraising until he gets his surgery.”

GH Autos in Castleford has sponsored the trekkers to provide them with transport to the Scottish Highlands.

Five people jumped from an aeroplane in support of Alex’s causes.

The youngster’s father Jonathan as well as the landlady of The Lion Julie Lockwood, Aaron Gornall, Stephen Parry and Andy Hovarth

took part in a sky dive in Lincolnshire last weekend.

Sarah Craven, who watched them take the plunge, said: “They were a little bit nervous but afterwards, when they landed, they all said it was fantastic and they really enjoyed it.

“They raised about £3,500. We’re very grateful for their support.”