A local man’s childhood dream to climb Mount Everest to raise money for his local hospice now looks very uncertain due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

David Winsbury, 24, from Long Eaton, signed up to the epic challenge last year, aiming to raise over £5,000 for local charity Treetops Hospice Care. David’s mum, Helen, has been attending the hospice for several years since being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

The challenge postponement is a blow to Treetops which has recently announced it anticipates a loss of £1.4million income over the next six months as its charity shops are temporarily closed and many popular fundraising events have been cancelled or postponed. The charity has launched an Emergency Appeal to help continue its most vital Hospice at Home nursing service.

Going to Treetops gives her a reason to leave the house

David, a team leader for the Co-op, explained why he chose to fundraise for Treetops, which provides emotional support and nursing care for adults with life limiting conditions, and their families, living in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

“For me there was never any doubt that I’d be supporting Treetops. My mum’s been attending regularly since she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer seven years ago.

“Going to Treetops gives her a reason to leave the house some days. She gets to go and be with people in a similar situation, and just feel normal for a while.”

Climbing Mount Everest has been something I’ve dreamed about for years

David was looking forward to the mammoth challenge:

“Climbing Mount Everest has been something I’ve dreamed about for years, ever since I was in the Scouts, and reading Bear Grylls’ books about it.

“I’ve done similar things on a much smaller scale like hikes round the Peak District and I’ve climbed Snowdon a couple of times too, but this would have been the biggest thing I’ve ever done, assuming it does go ahead in the end at some point,

I’m absolutely gutted

“Getting to raise money for a great charity at the same time just made it even more worthwhile. I could have done something easier, but going big for a worthy cause is what we do.

“I’m absolutely gutted that it might not happen. I have so many people that believe in me, and it’s something I’ve wanted for a long time now.

David had set himself a £5,000 fundraising target:

“I’ve raised almost half my fundraising target so far. I’ve done various things to raise that money including a charity day at my local, The Stumble Inn, in Long Eaton. Everyone there has supported me so much – they are honestly like another family to me.

“We also had collection tins in Co-ops in our area and they managed to raise an amazing amount. I’d like to give a shout out to all the staff at Duffield Road, Chaddesden, both Spondon shops, Arnold Road, Lambourne Drive, and Papplewick Lane Co-op store as well as our area manager, Ricky Malia for supporting me as much as possible.

“But sadly my fundraising has come to a complete standstill now with the pubs being closed. I can’t take the collection tins out to them or hold more charity days.”

Treetops Emergency Appeal has already raised over £40,000 in donations from the general public. All donations, large or small, can be made online here.