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Droylsden dad and daughter in big hearted Christmas climb
Monday 30th October 2017 @ 09:33 by Adam Higgins
Droylsden News

For most of us, the build-up to Christmas means buying presents, putting up decorations and making sure the turkey is ordered!

But for Mike Banks and his 10-year-old daughter Cayman, this Christmas will be very, very different.

They are forgoing the traditional festivities and will instead be embarking upon a two-week trek to Mount Everest’s South Base Camp in Nepal!

The father and daughter from Droylsden are aiming to raise £3,000 for the British Heart Foundation, after the wife of one of Mike’s colleagues sadly passed away from a heart condition.

Mike explained: “We booked the trip first, then decided to raise money for the BHF. I climb often and we are ‘outdoorsy’ so it’s always been on the radar, but it just came out of the blue!”

For Cayman, a Year Six pupil at Moorside Primary School, it’s set to be an unforgettable experience.

She said: “When Dad told me what we were doing I said, ‘That is crazy!’

“I want to do it but I’m still a bit nervous! I’ve done Snowdon, Dovestones, Scafell Pike, so I’ve done a few climbs. I’m most looking forward to getting to the top and playing football on the world’s highest football pitch!”

The pair will start their trek on December 20 and will spend Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day in the village of Namche Bazar, acclimatising to the altitude 3440m above sea level!

As far as preparation goes for the epic trek, Mike says it’s business as usual.

“People might have their own opinions but there is not much preparation you can do really,” he said.

“The climbing that we will do day-by-day are distances that we are used to, so that is not an issue. We’re basically doing three Ben Nevis’ over an eight day period.

“The only thing we can’t really prepare for is whether we’re going to feel the lack of oxygen and the altitude. Other than that, for the fitness side of it, we’ll be doing what we normally do; going up Dovestones or climbing in the Lake District.”

With Moorside currently planning a host of activities to raise money for the duo, Cayman’s Year 6 teacher Angela Camm says she is in awe of her pupil.

“To start off with I was completely shocked when she said what she was doing, then just felt really in awe of her and completely inspired by her!

“I just think it’s an incredible thing that she is doing; not just that she’s taking the opportunity to do it, but the reasons that she’s doing it.

“The children are really into the idea of creating their own posters and helping to gee up support. We’re also going to investigate what she is doing and look at it in a bit more detail, so they understand what she is actually putting herself through.”

While the whole school is proud of Cayman, one teacher in particular is hugely grateful.

Assistant Vice Principal Karen Rosenbloom is especially fond of the British Heart Foundation.

She explained: “It’s a cause very close to my heart because my own daughter has a serious heart condition. We’ve been on the BHF website when we’ve needed information and they are only ever a phone call away and they give fantastic advice and support to us.

“So we are immensely proud of Cayman doing this trek. I’m quite jealous of her in a way, I’d quite like to go with her!

“We just want to say a great big thank you to Cayman and Mike for doing this for the BHF. As a school we’re going to raise lots of money for them. We’re planning what we can do and we’ll have Cayman all prepared and ready for it!”

In their effort to raise £3,000, Mike and Cayman have already smashed the £1,000 mark.

To support them on their trek, you can donate to the British Heart Foundation at


Main picture:

The only way is up: Mike (far left) and Cayman (far right) are joined by Angela (second left) and Karen (second right) as the duo look forward to their challenge ahead