Head with a heart to go to top of mountain

Jane Merriman, headteacher at Belmont Grosvenor School at Birstwith,  aims to climb to the top of Ben Nevis to raise money for charity. (S)
Jane Merriman, headteacher at Belmont Grosvenor School at Birstwith, aims to climb to the top of Ben Nevis to raise money for charity. (S)

The headteacher of a North Yorkshire prep school is spending the first weekend of her summer holidays tackling Britain’s highest mountain.

Jane Merriman, headteacher at Belmont Grosvenor School at Birstwith, near Harrogate, aims to climb to the top of Ben Nevis – 4406ft - to raise money for charity.

Mrs Merriman is no stranger to adventurous school holiday trips – two years ago she cycled the 170-mile Way of the Roses route from Morecambe to Bridlington, and has also tackled Yorkshire’s highest peaks to raise money for good causes.

“I have always wanted to climb Ben Nevis, it will be a real challenge and very tough, but I hope by completing it I will raise as much money as possible for the Children’s Heart Research Fund (CHSF),” said Mrs Merriman.

Belmont Grosvenor School, an ‘outstanding’ prep school, has adopted the CHSF as their charity for 2015.

Drama teacher Catherine Fearn’s nephew underwent life-saving surgery at the Leeds cardiac unit when he was just a few weeks old – and his recovery has inspired Belmont Grosvenor parents, staff and teachers to support the Leeds-based charity.

Pupils have taken part in fundraising events including a fitness morning, Easter egg hunt and art competition.

But Mrs Merriman decided to tackle Ben Nevis on July 4 to boost the charity’s coffers further.

Anyone wanting to sponsor her and help raise money for the CHSF should visit her JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/Jane-Merriman1

She’s been inspired on her trek to the peak by Belmont Grosvenor School’s Year Six pupil Martha Dacombe, who has studied Ben Nevis.

“Martha has told me that I’ll be fine and to have no fear, as climbers have even taken a piano up Ben Nevis in the past,” laughed Mrs Merriman.

She is planning the fundraising climb on July 4 – and has been busy training at weekends for the ascent.