In June, 8-year-old Edward Mills became the youngest person to free Orkney's Old Man of Hoy (137m) and raised over £30,000 for the charity Climbers Against Cancer in the process. In recognition of his fundraising effort, Edward has won a Pride of Britain award. The presentation will be televised on Tuesday 6th November.
For as long as Edward can remember, his mum Bekki has been living with breast cancer, which has spread to her liver and spine in the last 12 months. Edward's love for his mum fuelled a long-held ambition to climb the Old Man of Hoy and raise money for Climbers Against Cancer in doing so.
Edward's ascent and the story behind his climb captured the hearts of the nation, with countless mainstream news reports online and on the TV and radio. UKC interviewed Edward and his mum about his adventure.
Through the worldwide climbing community, Climbers Against Cancer or 'CAC' - founded by the late John Ellison (UKC interview) - aims to increase awareness and raise funds for cancer research. CAC is a non-profit organisation, with all proceeds donated directly to cancer research facilities throughout the world. John passed away in 2015, but the work of the charity is ongoing.
Despite the media interest in his story, Edward remains grounded. When asked in his UKC interview how he felt about his story being on TV and all over the internet, Edward responded:
'It was exciting to be on the TV, on the news, my grandma and grandad saw me and they really liked it. My mum doesn't let me look at the internet or Facebook so I haven't seen that. I looked at the Instagram pictures. I like looking at other people climbing on Instagram so it was cool that other people could see me. The best bit is climbing. I prefer climbing to being on TV.'
Tune in to the Pride of Britain Awards on ITV on Tuesday 6th November to watch Edward receive his award.
Edward was recently featured in our UKC Humans of Climbing series on social media: