Epic Himalayan trek in memory of Haverstock School pupil Leo Barron

12:45 04 April 2014

Karen Robinson

Karen Robinson


A school staff member has embarked on an epic trek through the Himalayas in memory of a former pupil who died from a rare liver disease aged just 18.

Leo BarronLeo Barron

Haverstock School admissions officer Karen Robinson’s mountain expedition was inspired by the bravery and determination of former student Leo Barron.

Leo, of Hemmingway Close, Gospel Oak, was born with the rare liver condition Budd-Chiari syndrome which led to his death in 2012.

Hampstead resident Ms Robinson jets out to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, on Monday to spend six days marching along Himalayan passes at heights of up to 3,210 metres, where she will find a spot to leave Leo’s photo “for him to stare out over the world”.

“He was a very inspirational young man,” she said.

“He was born with this problem but he never moaned and groaned, he just got on with his life day-to-day. Some of us complain over a cough or cold, but he got on with it every day.

“To think he knew he would not have a long life, that’s pretty scary, but he faced it every day and he faced every challenge.”

Ms Robinson, who has been at the Chalk Farm school, in Haverstock Hill, for 15 years, got to know Leo because he would often visit the school’s office when he was feeling unwell.

She will spend the week in the company of 30 strangers who are also walking the Himalayan route in aid of charity, staying in hostels along the way.

The 50-year-old has so far raised more than £3,400 in sponsorship for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF), with strong sales of her home-baked fairy cakes helping her smash a £3,000 target.

Leo was himself a committed funraiser for the charity, taking part in a 10km challenge every year in the hope of helping other youngsters with similar conditions.

“The charity was close to his heart,” said Ms Robinson.

“He did the 10km when he was just out of hospital and really unwell. It’s nice to raise money for the same charity.”

CLDF takes action against all forms of childhood liver disease, providing information and emotional support, research funds and a voice for those affected.

Chief executive Alison Taylor said: “Karen’s trek and the support she has received from the school is a fantastic example of a community coming together to raise funds and a wonderful way to commemorate Leo’s memory.”

You can support her trek by going to


Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:56
Squatters at 156 West End Lane in West Hampstead are evicted

Squatters have left empty former council offices in West Hampstead peacefully on Saturday morning after bailiffs arrived.

Yesterday, 15:11
Evidence for the trial

A woman from Crouch Hill has been disqualified from owning animals for life after keeping dogs in cages stacked on top of each other nearly every day.

Yesterday, 12:14
Neelu Berry

An activist making claims of satanic abuse at a Hampstead church could face three new charges of witness intimidation.

Yesterday, 14:03
Claudia Tabitha, 23, Big Issue vendor. Photo: Polly Hancock

A pregnant Big Issue vendor has been overwhelmed by generous offers of support from local parents.

Sunday, November 29, 2015
Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society members. From left Amanda Carrara, Chris Currer, Mark Afford, Miriam Levin and Dave Winskill.

The fight for community ownership of Hornsey Town Hall continues, even though the council officially invited bids from developers last week.

Sunday, November 29, 2015
Expedition 45 Commander SCOTT KELLY took this selfie photograph during a 7-hour and 16-minute spacewalk. This was the first spacewalk for both Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren; the two will venture outside the International Space Station for the second time on next Friday. Kelly becomes the U.S. astronaut who has lived in space the longest during a single U.S. spaceflight, and on Monday, Nov. 2, the crew celebrates the 15th year of a continuous human presence in space aboard the station. (Credit Image: © NASA/ZUMA Wire)

Young gardeners are preparing for a close encounter of the herbaceous kind when they attempt to grow seeds from outer space.

Sunday, November 29, 2015
Keir Starmer arrives with his wife Victoria at the election count. Picture: Polly Hancock

It’s been six months since Sir Keir Starmer won the safe Labour seat of Holborn and St Pancras by a huge majority.

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Volunteers plant a new herbaceous border to mark Waterlow Park's 125th anniversary. Picture: Polly Hancock

Volunteers armed with gardening forks and spades replanted a herbaceous border to mark a Highgate park’s 125th anniversary.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder