Search

Hampstead estate agent climbs UK’s highest peaks to change young boy’s life

PUBLISHED: 15:00 19 January 2014 | UPDATED: 09:40 20 January 2014

Neil Revens on top of Ben Nevis mountain

Neil Revens on top of Ben Nevis mountain

Archant

When two old friends found themselves in desperate need of a special car for their severely disabled son, Neil Revens set himself his biggest challenge yet.

Freddie O'’Reilly now has a car with specialist facilities to reduce the risk of him suffering from seizures Freddie O'’Reilly now has a car with specialist facilities to reduce the risk of him suffering from seizures

The Hampstead estate agent decided he would raise thousands of pounds by climbing the UK’s three highest mountains in three days.

At the heart of this challenge was six-year-old Freddie O’Reilly, whose parents, Jon and Debbie, have known Neil for two decades.

Freddie, who lives with his parents in Hertfordshire, has Angelman syndrome – a rare genetic condition affecting the nervous system – which gives him problems with his speech and movement, as well as triggering seizures.

When Neil, 50, discovered the O’Reillys could not afford to kit out a new car with the specialist facilities needed to transport Freddie, he pledged to take on the notorious Three Peaks Challenge to raise the funds.

The challenge involves dangerous and gruelling hikes up England, Scotland and Wales’s highest mountains – Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon.

Neil, who works for Whitestone Estates, Heath Street, said: “Freddie’s consultant advised them to buy a climate-controlled car because he has about 20 to 30 fits a day if he’s not within a certain controlled environment.

“To buy the necessary equipment for the car they needed to raise £12,000 – which they didn’t have. Being a letting and management agent you tend to have a loyal and trusted bunch of clients.

“I wrote to all of them and the 
response was enormous. I didn’t have any problems raising that money. I told people who I was
doing it for and they just put their hands in their pockets. People were very generous.”

The father-of-three, who lives in Hertfordshire, took on the challenge last June and successfully completed it within the three-day limit.

He said: “It was very hard. Ben Nevis was challenging because there was an hour-and-a-half of walking through six inches of snow.

“[But] the view was spectacular, and we were incredibly lucky to have no cloud. It was an incredibly emotional moment.”

Nick was inspired to take on the challenge after his experience raising money for his nephew, who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Having raised the impressive £12,000 target, he enjoyed an emotional moment with Freddie’s parents. “They were ecstatic,” he said. “They’ve had a hard life and I have an enormous amount of sympathy for them.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Holocaust survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch who played in the women’s orchestra at Auschwitz will join other survivors at an event to commemorate this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day at JW3, the London Jewish Cultural Centre,in Hampstead.

10:16

Students from Portland Place School have demonstrated their support for anti-bullying by winning first place in the ‘odd socks day challenge’.

On Monday January 15, the BBC featured the enforcement of council tax in its Inside Out London programme.

January is well underway but it’s not too late to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Gazette readers this week.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has called for the dismissal of Inner North London’s senior coroner Mary Hassell after a “deeply disappointing” meeting with community leaders to discuss her refusal to respect Jewish burial requirements.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Andrew Dismore AM, Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, has added his voice to the calls for the resignation of Inner North London coroner Mary Hassell.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Dinny Hall has designed women’s jewellery for more than 30 years. Described as a ‘little British Tiffany’, she lives in West Hampstead.

PROMOTED CONTENT

For people who suffer with feet problems, it is often difficult to find footwear that is both comfortable and stylish. There is a shop in the West End dedicated to changing that.

Toni Krok, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007, has set up a charity to help people living with the condition and their families adjust to the challenges it brings.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now