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9-year-old braves Ben Nevis for her grandad

Words by Smiley Team

Climbing Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in Scotland and the United Kingdom – is no mean feat. The summit is 1,345m above sea level and is the highest land in any direction for 459 miles.

But a nine-year-old, from Middlesborough, decided to take on the challenge in memory of her grandad. 

Elise Hatfield successfully completed the climb with her family this month, including her two brothers Josh and Charlie, raising money for Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity (YBTC) in the process. 

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It was in memory of her grandad Julian Smith, who passed away from a brain tumour in 2006, before Elise was born. Though she never got to meet her grandad, Elise chose to support the Yorkshire-based charity to help fund research that might find better treatment – and ultimately, a cure – for others like Julian.

The 4,435-foot climb took Elise and her family just under eight hours in total, and Elise's achievement helped her raise an enormous £2,572 on JustGiving so far.

"We've always wanted to walk Ben Nevis as a family,” says Elise’s dad, Mark. “Elise thought it'd be a great idea to try and raise some funds, so she picked the charity. We're really proud of what she's done. She made it look easy, and we all loved the day. It was a bit emotional when we reached the top, but fantastic."

Elise adds: "I just want to say thank you everyone for helping me and I really hope that I can help people out there just like my grandy."

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Jen Aspinall, community fundraiser at YBTC, thanked Elise and her family for completing the challenge. “The amount she has raised is just amazing and will make a huge difference to brain tumour patients and their families,” she says.

YBTC is Yorkshire's leading brain tumour charity dedicated to raising funds for life-changing research and patient support. Around 9,000 new cases of primary brain tumours are diagnosed in the UK every year, and 15 each week in Yorkshire alone. While working to find a cure, the charity provides financial, emotional and practical support for patients, children, carers and family members at any stage of their journey.

To visit Elise’s JustGiving page, go to

To find out more about YBTC, go to

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