For most school children, the six weeks holiday is a time to relax, have fun and spend time with friends. But for 11-year-old Tanesh, his summer break was a time to do something amazing. Discover why he climbed an impressive 100m for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, to raise money and awareness about our work.

Hello, my name is Tanesh and I’m 11 years old. This summer, I wanted to make a difference to other people’s lives, so I decided to raise money for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice.

During the six weeks holiday, I would normally spend time playing games with friends or going on day trips with my family but this year, I wanted to do something a little different that would help other people. As a close family friend was cared for by the Hospice, I decided that I would give something back, by helping them to raise money as well as raise awareness about everything they do. 

That’s why I decided to spend my summer holidays climbing a total of 75m – that’s the equivalent of climbing the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Birmingham city centre! As I have never done any climbing before, I knew I had to do something daring and a bit different so that people would donate money to me.

Ahead of my climb, I set up a JustGiving page and asked family and friends to sponsor me. I couldn’t believe how generous everyone was and in just a few weeks, I had raised over £300! Everyone left really kind comments on my page, which only made me want to do the climb even more.

Whilst I was really pleased with the money I had raised, I decided that I wanted to spread the word of the Hospice even further within my local neighbourhood. That’s why I set up a fundraising stall at my Dad’s pharmacy and our local Tesco store. 

At my fundraising stall I had a poster which told people about my climb, I put up lots of balloons to make me stand out and I even took along my very own mascot – a Birmingham St Mary’s teddy bear who gave me that extra bit of support! I really enjoyed fundraising at the two different stores. Lots of people came up to me and said: “you’re doing a really brave thing”, “well done, what a brilliant cause you’re supporting”, or “it’s great to see someone with such a lovely heart”. It felt really rewarding and it was great to be telling people about the Hospice and raising even more money.

Soon enough, it was time to do my climb. I went to Redpoint Climbing Centre in Birmingham and whilst I was really nervous, I also couldn’t wait to get started!

I decided to climb a total of 75m by taking on a range of 5m, 10m and 15m climbing walls over the course of two days. My first-ever climb was scary – it was really new to me and I couldn’t look down. At first, I didn’t think I would be able to climb the 75m but when I thought about all the people who had kindly donated to me, I knew I couldn’t let them or the Hospice down – so I kept at it!

By the second day, I absolutely loved it and didn’t want to leave! I took on one of the taller walls at the centre, which was 15m, and although it was nerve-racking, I really enjoyed it. In fact, I had so much fun that I ended up climbing a total of 100m! 

I felt really proud that I took on such a daring challenge and even more proud because it raised £1,020.03 for the Hospice. Before I started fundraising, I didn’t really know what a hospice was or did but now I feel like I’ve learned lots about it. I recently visited Birmingham St Mary’s and got to meet one of the nurses and it felt really good knowing that my money would help care for people living with life-limiting illness. 

I really enjoyed learning a new skill over my summer holidays, whilst also helping such an amazing charity. So many people have congratulated me on my hard work. Even my local MP, Preet Gill, sent me a letter to say well done! I would love to do something like this again and will definitely encourage my friends to do something similar next year.

Thank you Tanesh for sharing your story with us! Congratulations on completing your challenge and for raising over £1,000 for the Hospice. Your kind donation could help more people spend their final days at home with their loved ones.

If you would like to sponsor Tanesh, you can find his JustGiving page here. Or, if you’re feeling inspired and would like to do your own fundraising event for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, take a look here for some great ideas, tips and information.