Last week two-year-old Henry Freeman, the son of two Access Group staff members, took on an incredible #ChallengeHenry fundraising campaign to raise thousands of pounds for deaf children across the UK.
Henry, who is deaf himself, completed a new challenge every day to raise money to give other deaf children the support they need when they are growing up.
From attempting an egg and spoon race, throwing beanbags in a bucket, seeing how many tries he could score in rugby, to driving his toy car around the garden – the two-year-old's fundraiser took on some of the UK’s most notoriously difficult sports in aid of charity, all while adorably dressed as superman.
His proud parents Adam and Kayleigh filmed all of the challenges in their garden and hoped to raise money and awareness for a cause that is so close to their hearts.
Speaking about why Henry took on this challenge, his dad, Adam Freeman, said: "This is the start of Henry’s legacy and him giving back and setting an example to other deaf children and adults everywhere. Henry is a very sociable little boy and lockdown has been hard for him, so this gave him something to be excited about.
"Henry is really looking forward to completing his challenges and especially loves his new outfit."
The Access Group supported Henry’s challenge as part of our Charity of the Year initiative with the National Deaf Children’s Society and pledged to match all staff donations. Access employees really took Henry’s challenge to heart and were excited to join the public campaign to support him on his journey to conquer as many different sports as he could.
Henry’s mum, Kayleigh Simms, added: "Raising money to support the National Deaf Children’s Society means so much to us. They met us at our lowest and have seen us through some tough times. Especially now with everything that is going on, they need your support more than ever.
"Just knowing that when things get hard the National Deaf Children’s Society is on the end of the line is a huge comfort to us and we completely support all the amazing work they do for children all over the UK and abroad.
"The current situation is hard enough and especially with lockdown you can feel so isolated. I know how hard it will be for parents of newly-diagnosed deaf children at this time, but remember you’re not alone.
"I think back to when Henry was first diagnosed and how frightened and sad I felt, but believe me it will all be ok. Your little one will amaze you with their strength and determination and you will look back like I often do and think why was I so worried? I’m not saying it will be easy and we still have bumps in the road, but the good days completely outweigh the bad."
Susan Daniels OBE, Chief Executive of the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “Henry is an absolutely star – and we’re all absolutely thrilled to have his support, his dedication and his sporting prowess!”
“By raising money for us, he is a great role model and is helping us to break down the barriers that so many deaf children face, and make sure the UK’s 50,000 deaf children get the start in life they deserve. With the incredible generosity of supporters like Henry, we can continue to be a hand to hold for families all across the country, and a place to turn to when life becomes tough.”
Chris Bayne, CEO of The Access Group, who are supporting Henry’s challenge this week and throughout the coming year, said: “I am incredibly proud of our commitment to The National Deaf Children’s society and having seen the effort made by everyone at Access in previous years to raise funds and awareness for our chosen charity I’m sure this year will be even bigger. The fact there is such a personal connection within our Access family to Henry and his family will only strengthen our determination to raise as much as we possibly can.”
To donate to Henry’s Access Challenge, visit his JustGiving page.