Lewes school boy will abseil height of London’s Shard for charity

Daniel MacDiarmid, 11, from Chailey, is thought to be the youngest recipient of a Rotary Club citizens award which was given to him by Lewes Rotary Club this year
Daniel MacDiarmid, 11, from Chailey, is thought to be the youngest recipient of a Rotary Club citizens award which was given to him by Lewes Rotary Club this year

A Lewes Old Grammar School pupil, who has already raised thousands for charity, will take on a daredevil fundraising challenge.

Daniel Macdiarmid, who lives in South Chailey, previously raised £5,000 to buy toys for a children’s hospice but is now hoping to raise £3000 for Chestnut Tree House in an abseil challenge.

The 11-year-old is due to abseil 100 feet from the Miller’s Dale viaduct in Derbyshire on Saturday, December 7.

However, Dan will not abseil once, but ten times to match the 1000 foot height of London’s Shard.

Dan said: “I had a small operation on my toe at the Royal Alex when I was three years old and my brother was in the Trevor Mann unit there when he was born. I felt like I wanted to give something back to the hospital and I suppose that got me thinking in general about helping children who aren’t well.“I really like the thought of the children at the Chestnut Tree House hospice having a great Christmas with loads of toys to play with. Last year we managed to get a Nintendo Switch for them! We also try to buy some sensory toys too, which some of the children need.”

Daniel is believed to be the youngest recipient of a Rotary Club Citizens Award which was handed to him by Lewes Rotary Club earlier this year.

He started raising money for charity when he was seven-years-old; first for the Royal Alexander Children’s Hospital, and then for the Chestnut Tree House Hospice in Arundel.

When Dan was nine, he cycled from Brighton to Portsmouth, raising a further £1500. He completed the ride of 50 miles in just five and a half hours.

Dan did not stop there however, and last December he headed to Snowdonia in North Wales where he took on the biggest, longest, and fastest zip wire in Europe, raising £2,500 for Chestnut Tree House.

Dan said that he is ‘looking forward to his next challenge’ despite having to climb a lof of steps ten times, saying: “I still need a lot of sponsorship to get to my £3000 target.”

Headmaster at LOGS Robert Blewitt said: “What this young man is doing is astonishing. His altruistic attitude and approach to life is breath-taking for one so young and we are really very proud of him indeed.”

Daniel’s mum, Becky, said: “Every year Daniel gets more and more determined to make his challenges bigger and better than the last just so he can put a smile on the children’s faces. His dad and I could not be prouder of him.”

Dan’s fundraising page can be found here.