Brothers climbing Kilimanjaro for deaf charity

Date: Thursday 14 September 2017

WEB - Steppingley Gardens - Mount Kilimanjaro Sponsorship - Image 1

Our Site Manager Nik Eason has been inspired by his two children to raise cash for the National Deaf Children’s Society – by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa’s highest mountain.

Nik (32), who lives in Bedford and works at Steppingley Gardens in Flitwick, hopes that he and his elder brother Mark (37) – who lives in Rushden, Northamptonshire and also works for us as a Customer Service Engineer – can raise more than £6,000 by both reaching the 5,895m (19,341 feet) summit.

The brothers have already received a big boost to their fundraising appeal, thanks to a £1,000 donation from our South Midlands team.

Nik says: “Both my children were born deaf, so I do a fair bit of charity work for the NDCS. The charity has helped us tremendously. Taylor Wimpey has also been a massive help. As well as giving this donation, they’ve allowed me a lot of time off for hospital visits and so on. It just shows how well they look after their employees.”

The Eason brothers leave for Africa on 20th October, and hope to get up and down the huge mountain in six days.

“We’ve both done quite a bit of training in this country,” explains Nik. “Of course you never know how you will cope with the altitude, but hopefully we’ll be OK.”

There’s no clear reason why Nik and wife Kerry’s two children – Ava-Rose (four) and Charlie (two) – were both born profoundly deaf.

Both children have cochlear implants: electronic devices inserted into their inner ear in a four-hour operation, to provide sound signals to the brain.

“There isn’t actually any history of deafness on my side of the family or my wife’s side – it’s a bit of an anomaly,” says Nik. “It’s a very, very emotional moment when your child starts to hear for the first time. You see their eyes change when they start to hear. But it can be confusing for the child too, after perhaps a year of silence.”

He said both children had responded well to the implants – and Ava-Rose is due to start soon at a local mainstream school.

The NDCS has helped the family since their children were diagnosed – both with technical expertise and with psychological advice – and Nik adds:  “Now I would like to give something back.”