Fundraisers climb Ben Nevis for the Autism Centre of Excellence at Cambridge

In August this year, despite wind, hail, and a 1,345-metre summit, one group was determined to raise money for the Autism Centre of Excellence at Cambridge by climbing Ben Nevis. A total of 12 hours and 250 generous supporters later, Naomi, Elizabeth, Maria, Jane, Nancy and Joanne smashed their original fundraising goal, raising an astonishing £13,221 for the charity.

Six people in raincoats, with their hoods up, gather around a chest-height tree stump, smiling. The sky behind is grey and featureless.
Weather conditions clearly worsened as the climb continued. L-R: Elizabeth, Naomi, Maria, Jane, Nancy, Joanne.

This climb is not to be underestimated. Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK, with an average 7 to 8 hours needed to reach the summit and complete the return journey. Added to that, despite it being the height of summer, the weather conditions were challenging, and this was the first ever climb for some of the group. However, all of this was forgotten upon seeing the incredible view from the summit, even through the fog!

“We had a physical mountain to climb that day but we are so aware that some people face a mountain every day.”

When asked how they raised so much money, the group explained they are from the Traveller community, which they describe as very generous, especially when it comes to supporting autistic people. The group told us that they know a lot of children in their community are autistic and are not getting the right support, and they are keen to help change that. The determination to raise awareness and make change is what pushed them to tackle the climb, and they also credit strong faith and prayer for helping them succeed.

Chair of Trustees Fraser Hardie said “Thank you from all of us at the Autism Centre of Excellence. We congratulate the group on their achievement, both in climbing the mountain and in raising so much money for this great cause.” If you would like to challenge yourself and raise money for the Autism Centre of Excellence at Cambridge please email

A smiling woman in sunglasses in the foreground takes a selfie of herself and five others, in front of lush green countryside. The group is wearing Autism Centre of Excellence t-shirts and one has walking poles.
The group showed off their charity t-shirts until raincoats became a must.