Friends take on Three Peaks challenge in memory of Lancaster three-year-old who died from meningitis

The friends and colleagues of Charlotte and Lee Kirkham at the end of their Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.
The friends and colleagues of Charlotte and Lee Kirkham at the end of their Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.

Friends and colleagues of the parents of a three-year-old boy who died from meningococcal septicaemia have raised more than £6,000 for charity.

Hector Kirkham, from Lancaster, was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary last month but sadly died later the same day.

Hector Kirkham from Lancaster, who died from Meningococcal Septicaemia.

Hector Kirkham from Lancaster, who died from Meningococcal Septicaemia.

His mum Charlotte and dad Lee gave a heartbreaking tribute to their son at the time, speaking of their “gorgeous, cheeky, happy boy” who was “perfect in every way”.

Hector, who attended Little Learners nursery in Galgate, became sick very fast from the disease, and died within 12 hours of the symptoms showing.

A second toddler who also contracted the disease survived after treatment in Manchester.

Colleagues of Lee at Heysham Power Station vowed to raise money for Menigitis Now following Hector’s death, and last week 19 friends and A-Shift colleagues undertook the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.

The friends and colleagues of Charlotte and Lee Kirkham at the top of Whernside during their Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.

The friends and colleagues of Charlotte and Lee Kirkham at the top of Whernside during their Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.

Matt Hirst, A-Shift team leader, said: “We decided we wanted to do something worthwhile as quickly as possible, and when Lee found out he was overwhelmed by it.

“We wanted to raise awareness and also raise money in Hector’s memory, and show the family that there’s a lot of support for them out there.

“It has shocked us how many good wishes we have had and the money that has been donated. We set a target of £500 and we now have more than £6,000 which is amazing.”

It is hoped that other fundraising activities can be carried out in the future, to continue raising awareness of meningitis.

The friends and colleagues of Charlotte and Lee Kirkham at the top of Pen-y-Ghent during their Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.

The friends and colleagues of Charlotte and Lee Kirkham at the top of Pen-y-Ghent during their Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.

“Lee’s focus now is on on raising money to help prevent someone else having to go through what they did with Hector,” Matt, 43, said.

“We are a small community and this could help someone else around here.

Last Monday, the group – accompanied by Lee, just five days after Hector’s funeral – set off on their walk, taking in Ingleborough, Pen-y-Ghent and finally Whernside.

Others who were unable to take part travelled along the route to provide refreshments.

The friends and colleagues of Charlotte and Lee Kirkham at the top of Ingleborough during their Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.

The friends and colleagues of Charlotte and Lee Kirkham at the top of Ingleborough during their Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.

Charlotte met the team at the end of the challenge, which was completed in less than their target time of 12 hours.

“It’s a relatively simple walk in your head but it’s 26 miles so it was a mammoth challenge really,” said Matt, who lives in Torrisholme.

“Coming down Whernside at the end and seeing Charlotte waiting in the car park was quite emotional.”

The group has so far raised more than £6,500 for Meningitis Now – which marked World Meningitis Day on Tuesday April 23.

You can donate by going online here

Meningitis Now is working towards a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need.

The signs and symptoms of meningitis in adults and children.

The signs and symptoms of meningitis in adults and children.

It does this by funding research into vaccines and prevention, raising awareness so people know what to look for and what action to take if they suspect meningitis and rebuilding futures by providing dedicated support to people living with the impact of the disease.

For more information and to donate visit www.meningitisnow.org