On the 12th October, 12 incredible men and women headed to Beijing on a mission to trek The Great Wall of China in aid of Grief Encounter and Children’s Grief Awareness Week (15th– 21stNovember). Leading the way, celebrity ambassadors for the
charity, Made in Chelsea’s James Dunmore and reality star Christian James, trekking in support of bereaved children and young people in the UK.
James Dunmore & Christian James Complete The Trek
So far, the Trek has raised a phenomenal £23,000 for Grief Encounter. With pledges still coming in, 100% of the funds raised will support the 3000 bereaved children, young people and their families the charity help annually.
Joining the boys on the challenge of a lifetime were 2 members of the Grief Encounter staff, HR Manager Laura Sloma and Helpline Manager Helene Karayannis. “Proud is an understatement, but there’s no way I would have got through this without my team. I’ve challenged myself, made friends for life and I’m so thankful for everyone’s donations.” comments Helene. The team also included Claire Graham, long term friend of Grief Encounter, Dirk Odendaal, Dave Fagan, Michael Cunningham, Nicole Myers, Sally Myers, Janine Stolz and Jonny Ward-Manning.
Shipwrecked contestant and Festival founder Christian, 25, lost his mother to cancer on the 24thApril 2018, a day before her 57thbirthday, and fundraised in her memory. “My relationship with my mum was, and is so special and important to me. Death doesn’t change that. From diagnosis to her death, my mum lived every second to the fullest, doing amazing things, and that’s what inspired me first to become an ambassador for Grief Encounter, and now to have taken part in this amazing adventure. It was such a special experience, shared with amazing people and for a cause that couldn’t be closer to my heart. I’ve got to know myself a lot along the way too, it’s something I will never forget.”
E4 star James Dunmore, 28, chose to tackle the trek in memory of his two sisters, Jodi and Lucinda, who both died of Cystic Fibrosis when James was 16 years old.“I lost both my sisters when I was a teenager and know first-hand how important support following bereavement is. Grief Encounter help bereaved children in such a big and important way, helping to ease the pain for families affected by loss and grief, I’m proud to be an ambassador for them. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to complete this feat with, and I know my sisters would be very proud of what we have all achieved.”
We couldn’t be prouder and more thankful to our incredible #teamgriefencounter… You are all amazing!
Top: (L-R)Janine Stolz, Michael Cunningham, Dirk Odendaal, Dave Fagan, James Dunmore, Chris Jammer
Bottom: (L-R) Sally Myers, Laura Sloma, Helene Karayannis, Claire Graham, Nicole Myers, Jonny Ward-Manning