A SEASHELL supporter will be donning his hiking boots and facing temperatures of minus 22 degrees in an endurance challenge to Everest Base Camp.

Michael Hartig and his fellow hikers will endure temperatures ranging from minus 22 degrees at night to 12 degrees during the day, walking for up to nine hours a day, scaling thousands of feet and having to acclimatise to the lower oxygen levels that come with altitude challenges.

But Michael is determined to complete the 17-day trek to raise funds for a charity he is so passionate about.

“I will be anxious, nervous and without communication so there will be a whole mix of emotions going on,” said Michael. “But knowing that I’m doing it for Seashell will be the thing I remind myself of when things get difficult.”

Michael and his work colleagues have long been supporters of our organization. He is on the appeal board for the Transforming Lives Appeal and has previously done fundraising events for Seashell – though nothing quite as adventurous as this!

“I did the Arctic Circle with my son and I’ve done things like the Yorkshire Three Peaks and Snowdon…but nothing like this.”

Although a background in mountain hikes undoubtedly helps, the real test is managing to stay focused and maintain energy levels while breathing in less oxygen than residents of Cheshire are used to. To help acclimatize, Michael has been wearing a special mask at home, which imitates the type of air he will be breathing as he heads towards base camp.

As well as the pre-event training, the group will also have “acclimatization days” where they hike higher, but then retreat to lower ground to sleep.

As the trek website says: “The Everest region is filled with sheer 8000m Himalayan peaks, ancient monasteries, tales of legendary mountaineers and perhaps even the mythical Yeti. So, trekking in Everest is a mixture of cultural, spiritual and physical experience and we have designed it to be more adventurous and fun adding an overnight stay at Everest base camp.”

So far Michael has raised almost £6,000, with his employers Barclays agreeing to match-fund the first £1,000. But the more he raises, the more we can achieve for our children and young people with complex disabilities. If you’d like to support Michael visit his JustGiving Page.

Last night (Thursday, 21st March 2024) Seashell and National Trust’s joint partnership won an award at the Marketing Cheshire Tourism Awards.

The accolade was in the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award category for the work Quarry Bank Mill has been doing with Seashell and it’s college students to improve accessibility at the much-loved site. It was awarded at the ceremony at Chester Cathedral, which was organised by Marketing Cheshire to recognise excellence and outstanding achievement in the region’s visitor economy.

Connections between Seashell’s Royal College Manchester and the National Trust are well established and many of our students have benefited from the relationship with recreational trips and work experience.

In return, our college has delivered Disability Awareness Training to all Quarry Bank Mill staff, helped improve signage and worked on accessibility developments – with students working as consultants for the National Trust staff.

We’re so proud that Seashell and the National Trust’s work has been recognised in this way. Well done to everyone who made this possible!

Seashell is excited to announce that we are able to offer a series of workshops for parent carers thanks to Slater and Gordon Lawyers.  

The first of these sessions will be delivered by a sleep practitioner and will offer parent carers an introduction into the behavioural approaches to sleep. The session will cover the importance of sleep, the function of sleep and will help with strategies to improve sleep routines for children.  

Slater and Gordon Lawyers were interested in supporting Seashell’s family services.  

Helen Lewis, a Principal Lawyer with the firm, said: “We know how important good sleep routines are for families of children and young adults with autism, multi-sensory impairments and learning disabilities. We’re pleased we can play a part in helping these families and can’t wait to hear how the workshops go.” 

The workshops will be delivered by a sleep practitioner over Zoom, so everyone joining will need a laptop or internet-enabled device.  

The first event is taking place on Friday, 15th March to coincide with World Sleep Day. This is an annual celebration of healthy sleeping patterns and awareness day for sleep disorders.  

Sherann Hillman MBE, Seashell’s Head of Family Services and the National Lead for Children and Families, said: “Sleep can have a huge impact on wellbeing, not just for the child but for the whole family. Research has shown that up 86% of children with additional needs have sleep problems, so it’s really important that we give parents the tools and information to help their child get a good night’s sleep.” 

It’s hoped this workshop is the first of many and more can be offered in future, so please keep an eye on our Events Page for future updates.  

To book your place email familyservices.webinar@seashelltrust.org.uk