Swan stay to set up Tony for Summit’s Up challenge

Grasmere’s The Swan will become “expedition headquarters” in early August, as The Inn Collection Group support Summit’s Up for Tony, the latest charity challenge by inspirational eight-year-old Tony Hudgell.

The Keswick Road property, which has recently re-opened following a multimillion-pound refurbishment will be hosting the young fundraiser and his family for the duration of his attempt to summit Orrest Head on August 8.

Supported by local guide and fundraiser Steve Watts MBE, whose photobook A Year Like No Other has raised money in support of The Tony Hudgell Foundation, Summit’s Up for Tony is the latest quest to be embarked on by Hudgell.

Capturing the imagination of the nation back in 2020 aged just 5, the determined youngster took inspiration from Sir Capt. Tom Moore and set out to raise £509 for The Evelina Children’s Hospital, before going on to raise over £1.7 million for by walking 10km on his prosthetic legs.

The hospital saved Tony’s life when he was brought in aged just six weeks old with severe injuries inflicted by his birth parents, which resulted in multiple fractures, dislocations and eventually led to both Tony’s legs being amputated.

Three years on, the call of the mountains will see Tony raising funds for the Bendrigg Trust, Crohn’s & Colitis UK, The Lake District Foundation’s Fix the Fells, and his own eponymous Foundation.

As the first fell summited by Alfred Wainwright in his very first visit to the Lake District in 1930, Orrest Head provides an appropriate challenge for Tony’s first climb and for his indomitable spirit to conquer.

Speaking at the launch of the Summit’s Up for Tony challenge Steve Watts said: “Tony is an inspirational guy and after supporting his foundation with the book, I said if he ever wanted to summit a Lake District challenge and a challenge was set in stone.

“We sadly had to delay this from last year due to Tony’s mum ill health, but now it is go Tony go on 8th.

“There has been a huge amount of support in making this happen, from the Bendirgg Trust who have helped assess Tony and make sure the challenge is as safe as possible.

“Every summit attempt needs a summit team, like Hari Budha Magar who recently became the first double amputee to summit Everest and Hari has sent Tony the very best wishes in challenge.

“Nellie and Nigel at The Swan have been brilliant in arranging accommodation for duration of stay and we can’t thank enough. ony is really excited about the challenge and we’re all looking forward to the eighth [of August] and seeing the little man reach the summit of his achievement.”

The Swan general manager Nellie Buxton added, “We’re delighted to be doing our bit and supporting Tony in this incredible challenge. He is a determined little soul, and we are really looking forward to hosting him and his family during their time in the Lakes and seeing him reach the top of Orrest Head.”

Donations can be made in support of the Summit’s Up for Tony challenge by clicking here.