On Saturday 11th September a group of 48 MakaHikers conquered the majestic and awe-inspiring Mount Snowdon in Wales. The MakaHike team included parents of children and adults who use Makaton, Makaton beneficiaries, Makaton Tutors, teachers, NHS workers, volunteers and an assistive therapy dog who all came together to challenge themselves and support the life changing work of The Makaton Charity.
Some MakaHikers had travelled from some of the furthest points around the UK, including Isle of wight, Aberdeen, and Grimsby to take on Mount Snowdon and to raise much needed funds for The Makaton Charity.
The event was a huge success and the MakaHikers made it to the summit with some steam left to sing and sign their hearts out.
The day came with its challenges including steep intervals, heavy rain and thick fog but smiles remained on the faces of the incredible MakaHikers. Some of the mottos we heard on the way up to the summit:
- “Take just one step at a time, no matter how fast or slow, we will get there”
- “It’s not about if, but, or maybe, it’s when we get there!”
Among the MakaHike team was Lucy, her parents, brother and assistive therapy dog, Flossy.
Lucy used Makaton herself when she was younger and is now a selective user of Makaton. Lucy is an avid fan of Singing Hands, and she uses Makaton when singing. There were a few things that kept Lucy going throughout the climb:
- Knowing that the Suzanne from Singing Hands was going to be at the top of the Mountain, where she could get a photo as well as sing and sign with her at the summit.
- Supporting with the Makaton Facebook page and knowing she was speaking to over 70,000 followers form around the world via Facebook Live throughout the day.
- The support of her family and Flossy, her therapy dog. Flossy was fantastic and encouraged Lucy every step of the way. At every break taken Flossy was available for a hug and doggy cuddle and the occasional jelly baby for fuel!
- Hannah our Director and Makaton Ambassador, who broke out into singing and signing every once in a while, with onlookers joining in when they knew the song.
Lucy was a true Makaton champion who kept on going when the going got tough, but she made it to the summit of Mount Snowdon and back. Read Lucy's letter about her Snowdon experience
"The MakaHiker challenge was an amazing experience for us as a family. Before the event we were nervous about whether we had taken on too much but we did training walks which definitely helped us. The support from everyone on the day was brilliant , everyone was very understanding of our children's needs. The signing at the summit was great fun. We are very proud to say we took part in the MakaHiker Challenge 2021 whilst raising money for a very good charity that has helped our family for many years." Becky, parent of Lucy
The atmosphere at the top of Mount Snowdon was electric. Some of the hikers had been at the summit for an hour until the last group had reached the summit but they remained positive albeit cold, wet and windy, ready to sing and sign!
Singing Hands had compiled a brilliant mashup of ‘Keep on Movin’ by Five and ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, which was just what the MakaHikers needed to lift their spirits and enable them to express their passion for Makaton. Onlookers at the summit stopped in their tracks to see what was happening and joined in to experience the positivity that was flowing through the MakaHikers!
In total, it took 8 hours to get to the summit and back down, but it was a truly wonderful event and triumphant, a fabulous achievement full of emotions, especially after the previous year and a half we had all been through. At the end of the day there were achy limbs, wobbly legs, and sore feet and knees but it was worth it to have experienced the euphoric feeling singing and signing together at the top of Mount Snowdon.
The MakaHikers have raised a whopping 12.2k for The Makaton Charity which we are truly grateful for. But the day wasn’t all about raising funds, it was about setting themselves a challenge and each person had their own battles to face, but they persisted and have made a wonderful memory and a moment in history.
We would like to publicly thank Makaton Ambassador Tutor Richard Fish for organising the event safely and securely, providing guides to help us safely reach the summit and return; Suzanne from Singing Hands for providing us with our song and for joining us on our hike and leading the sing and sign at the top of the summit; Makaton Ambassador Tutors Nic Pike and Amanda Glennon for meeting and greeting us at the beginning and at the end of our journey and to all of those who challenged themselves to take part in the hike and raise funds for The Makaton Charity.
Thank you to everyone who sponsored the MakaHikers, if you haven’t donated and would like to support it’s not too late! Our donation page is still open...
If you missed out this time, don’t worry we are planning our next event, so keep your eyes peeled and get yourselves signed up!