Josh Kenny, his fiancée Shannon, and parents Anne and Lee, are taking on the Scafell Pike Challenge in August and have raised almost £6,000! 

Why am I climbing Scafell Pike? 

Is it because it is the highest mountain in England? Is it as I want to tick off the highest Alfred Wainwright walk? Is it because I love walking in the Lake District? Is it for the views?

Yes, it is in fact for all those reasons! However, there is one more special reason why myself, my fiancée Shannon, and my parents Anne and Lee, are climbing Scafell Pike... it is for my younger brother Jake, who is autistic - he is our everyday hero. Unfortunately autism is misunderstood and many people don't know a lot about what it is like to know someone with autism never mind being autistic themselves. In the school holidays Jake and my parents were in a local cafe where people would stare at Jake and some people actually moved tables so they would not sit near them as Jake was in his usual cheeky, happy mood. To others this was obviously too noisy? Too happy? Wrong? Whatever their excuse may be, we’re now in 2017 and I don’t think this is acceptable! Thankfully Jake is oblivious to people doing this but it is hurtful for the families who see this behaviour.

By climbing Scafell Pike and fundraising at the many events held prior to the challenge, I’m hoping that we’ll raise autism awareness and most importantly acceptance, not for the families - but for those with autism - who are perfect to us!

Who is my inspiration?

Josh's brother, JakeMy brother, Jake, is my inspiration for taking on this challenge. Jake holds a massive place in my heart, not only is he my brother but he is my buddy too. (Along with our younger brother Robbie, we are a team). Jake is 20 years old and his current obsessions are My Little Pony, Lego, Care Bears and of course not forgetting Brak! He also loves going to the Lakes for walks and even has his own Facebook page @Jakeinthelakes. I don't think he really likes the walking part, more that he gets treated to an ice cream at the end! As you can see from the picture, Jake has an infectious smile and there really isn't a dull moment when he is around! Lots of people tell me that Jake is lucky to have brothers like myself and Robbie but I can definitely vouch for us both that we feel even luckier to have Jake in our lives.

How do I feel about the day?

It would be wrong to say I am not excited as I will be taking on the challenge with my parents and fiancée whilst also getting the chance to share an experience with people who are also taking on this challenge for someone they love - which is very overwhelming. Myself and my fiancé already do quite a bit of fell walking but I can’t say I’m not nervous! We have had a huge amount of support at a charity held coffee morning, charity race night and at a charity football match. So while taking part in this challenge is very important in raising awareness, it is equally as important in giving back something to those who have supported us every step of the way, as without them we wouldn’t have been able to take part in the challenge or share Jake’s story. 

Please note that there are just a few more places left for the Scafell Pike trek on 12 and 13 August. Once full, we will be operating a waiting list for the Saturday and Sunday. Please email Rachel.verralls@nas.org.uk for more information.