This Leeds dad has climbed three mountains in one weekend to say thank you to his son's school

Dave McNamara's son Evan was born 15 weeks prematurely.
Dave McNamara's son Evan was born 15 weeks prematurely.

A proud dad has undertaken a gruelling physical challenge to raise money for the school which has had an 'amazing impact' on his son

Dave McNamara has climbed the highest mountains in England, Wales and Scotland - and cycled 430 miles betweeen them - to raise cash for Woodkirk Academy.

Evan in his Woodkirk Academy uniform.

Evan in his Woodkirk Academy uniform.

Dave and his wife Michelle, of East Ardsley, were worried their son Evan would struggle on his move to secondary school.

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Evan, 14, has learning difficulties, is deaf and has a speech impairment.

He spent 155 days in hospital after birth and was in and out of medical care as a child.

But to his parents' surprise, Evan, who was born 15 weeks prematurely, singed up for the school choir during his first week at Woodkirk.

"When he came home and told us he had joined the choir and then wanted to do performing arts we were faced with a 'really, are you sure' sort of moment," Dave, 46, said.

"You don't want your child to struggle and we felt this was potentially one of those situations.

"However, he was adamant and we fully supported him. It has turned out to be the best thing he could have done."

Dave said the school had 'been brilliant' and 'bent over backwards' to help Evan fit in and contribute.

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Evan - who had brother, 10-year-old Alec - has even gone on school trips to Belgium, Germany and France to perform.

"He's a wonderful little boy," Dave added.

The proud dad said he wanted to give something back to Woodkirk, particularly at a time when school funding is under pressure.

"I want to thank them for everything they have done by raising some money so that they may be in a position to support other students, be it with equipment, outfits, shows or even overseas trips," he added.

"We are unbelievably grateful for what the school and in particular this department have done with Evan over the last three years."

Dave has competed in regular marathons, triathlons and Iron Man challenges, but said climbing Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon - and cycling between them all in just one weekend - would be 'the next step up'.

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But he said he would be reminded of Evan, who has to 'deal with his own stuff every day'.

He will be stopping off at his mum's in Wigan for a hot meal and some rest, and his dad will be his support driver.

You can donate to Dave's fund here.