Highgate schoolboy to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in memory of sister

PUBLISHED: 11:18 26 September 2016 | UPDATED: 11:58 27 September 2016

Bella and Ben on Ben's 10th birthday

Bella and Ben on Ben's 10th birthday


A brave and adventurous 14-year-old boy is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in memory of his sister who died recently

Bella at the seasideBella at the seaside

Highgate schoolboy Ben Northam was very close to his beautiful sister, Bella, who died aged 11.

He has already raised £1,800 for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, with a target of £8,000.

Bella died unexpectedly last Boxing Day.

She suffered from a severe form of Muscular Dystrophy, but she loved being outdoors.

Her family would visit the seaside and go on trips around the Lake District and Dorset, pushing Bella up hills in her wheelchair.

Remembering why he set out on the challenge, Ben said, “I thought I should do something Bella would have been proud of me doing, and she would have wanted to do herself.”

Just 18 months apart, Ben grew up alongside Bella and their other siblings Olivia and Alexander in Crouch End.

“She always made me laugh, she always said funny things,” he said.

Ben is training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro next month, flying out on October 13.

His father, Tim, will climb up alongside him.

The 14-year-old hopes to climb seven summits, the highest peak on each continent, before he’s 20.

His mother, Ellie, is very proud of her “single-minded” son.

She said: “They were so very close, it’s been extremely hard for him.”

Ellie described Bella as “very funny” and happy.

“As a family we pushed the boundaries of a child with complex needs.

“We camped and would take her up small hills.

“Bella loved school, loved going out and about. She loved ‘green camping’ – she called it green camping because we had a green tent. She loved her cats Coco and Ludo.”

“Noah’s Ark have been absolutely phenomenal, they’ve been a tremendous support to us,” she added.

To support Ben on his trip, visit:

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

I live in the north west of London in the United Kingdom. Like the rest of the country, I have been looking on in bewilderment at the Brexit deal while politicians on both sides of the house vie for political supremacy. Divisions in government make for good news headlines but do nothing for the public’s confidence in its institutions.

Fri, 16:24

Normally we celebrate one business of the week – but today we’ve got three!

Fri, 15:17

A Routemaster bus will take 72 passengers on a journey through Greek Cypriot history, via Camden and Holloway, on Sunday.

Fri, 12:12

The latest twist in the saga of a Hampstead landlord who refuses to pay a controversial levy saw him bring a top barrister to his court hearing.

Fri, 09:48

Opponents of the 100 Avenue Road development suffered a major blow last night as Camden voted through a controversial plan that will funnel seven lorries a day through residential streets in Swiss Cottage.

Thu, 17:35

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Thu, 12:44

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Thu, 12:10

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now