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Six-year-old with cerebral palsy climbs highest mountain in South Wales

Imogen Ashwell-Lewis was helped in her attempt by a prototype mountain bike.

A six-year-old girl with cerebral palsy has climbed the highest peak in South Wales thanks to a specially modified mountain bike.

Imogen Ashwell-Lewis successfully scaled Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons to raise awareness of families who look after children with brain conditions.

The little girl was helped by a prototype four-wheeled downhill mountain bike created by Project ENDURO, a collaborative project by experts at universities and colleges in South Wales, designed for people with disabilities.

She was joined by more than 40 supporters including Specsavers staff, charity workers and Army soldiers who took it in turns to pull her with a harness.

The climb was organised to raise awareness of Cerebra, who work with brain-injured children and their families in Wales.

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Imogen with fellow climbers before the ascent (Freshwater PR)

Imogen’s mother, Catherine, who lives in Caldicot, said her daughter’s condition meant she had never been able to take part in such an activity before

She said: “Imogen is so thrilled and excited to have completed this climb. It’s only thanks to the team at Cerebra that she’s been able to have this adventure – she’s never been able to do anything like this before because of her cerebral palsy.

“There have been so many times that she hasn’t been able to join in with physical activities which leaves her feeling left out. Being able to do things like this is a real boost to her confidence and self-esteem. She really is over the moon.”

The trek on Sunday was organised by both Cerebra and staff at Specsavers stores in South and Mid Wales, as part of their year-long charity partnership.

Cerebra spokesman Terry Osborn said: “We’re delighted to have joined the Specsavers team for the Pen y Fan climb. To be able to take Imogen with us was a privilege and really does demonstrate that we don’t believe there is any challenge that can’t be overcome.

“The invaluable fundraising support from Specsavers means that our Innovation Centre will be able to help more children to overcome their challenges and discover the world around them.”

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