A Derby charity fundraiser is preparing for his ultimate challenge to raise money for local charity Safe and Sound’s Butterfly Appeal.
Simon Barcz (39) from Oakwood has already raised more than £10,000 for Derby-based Safe and Sound which specialises in grassroots work across the county to transform the lives of children and young people who are victims of or at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE).
Mr Barcz, who is a heat treatment specialist at Gardner Aerospace in Derby has completed several half and full marathons and other running challenges as part of his bit to tackle type 2 diabetes.
Having shed nearly six stone, he has set his sights on trekking to Everest Base Camp next month – tackling 115km across difficult terrain and battling altitude sickness to reach heights of 19,000ft above sea level.
He will leave Derby on Friday November 1 – the day after his 40th birthday – flying to Kathmandu and then onto Lukla before starting the 11-day trek
On his return, he will join family and friends for a belated birthday celebration on Sunday November 17 at The Neptune pub in the city centre which has sponsored him for the challenge alongside DBY Flooring and JRU Building Services.
Mr Barcz said: “Having done all sorts of charity fundraising challenges – I wanted to do the ultimate trip and you don’t get much bigger than going to the Everest base camp in the Himalayas.
“I am now 15 stone 6 lbs which is the lightest I have been for many years and I feel great. I was 24 stone at my heaviest point and would like to get a few more pounds off before and during the trip.
“I feel prepared physically and mentally but the only unknown is how I will react to the high altitude so hopefully that will be OK.”
Mar Barcz continued: “When I started raising money to give me the motivation to change my lifestyle, I supported national charities but switched to Safe and Sound as I wanted the money I raised to go to a local charity that supports local children and young people.
“I am very near my goal of £4,000 ahead of the trip but hopefully the regulars at The Neptune and other local pubs will dig deep to support me as they follow my journey.”
The money raised will go towards Safe and Sound’s Butterfly Appeal to enable the charity to expand its work to support young people, their families and further raise awareness of CSE amongst local communities.
Safe and Sound chief executive Tracy Harrison said: “Simon has been one of our most active fundraisers in recent years and we wish him the best of luck in this, his ultimate endeavour.
“The money he has so kindly raised will greatly help us to develop the vital work needed to support and protect children and young people from the devastating and manipulative damage that sexual exploitation has on their lives.
“We will be eagerly following his progress and look forward to welcoming him back safe and sound to Derby for what will be a well deserved birthday celebration and rest.”
To support Simon’s ultimate challenge, please donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simon-barcz3
Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945665; [email protected]
About Safe and Sound and the Butterfly Appeal
Safe and Sound was launched in 2002 and is the only local charity that is totally focused on transforming the lives of thousands of children and young people who are victims or are at risk of child sexual exploitation across Derbyshire.
Safe and Sound’s expertise came to the fore during the 2010 landmark case – Operation Retriever – which was Derby’s first prosecution for child sexual exploitation and abuse. The charity’s specialist team supported every young person affected by the criminal actions of 13 defendants who were jailed in total for up to 22 years for 70 offences.
Safe and Sound’s specialist team provides individual support for children and young people from as young as eight up to the age of 18. They also raise awareness of the issue and the dangers facing children and young people through awareness programmes for schools, organisations, businesses and community groups.
Safe and Sound has launched the Butterfly Appeal #Buildingstrongwings to bring to fruition its vision for expanded services to support young people, families and wider community.
The charity’s future vision is extensive and includes:
– A new outreach programme to provide hands-on support where young people are at their most vulnerable
– Wider support for the families of victims and those at risk of CSE
– Youth work programmes with new activities from music to sport to build young people’s confidence and resilience
– Specialist psychological therapy programmes to tackle trauma, anxiety and depression
– Longer term support for survivors moving into adulthood enabling them to mentor younger victims
– An expanded community education programme to increase public awareness of CSE and the dangers facing young people
Supporters and ambassadors include the Chief Constable of Derbyshire who has chosen Safe and Sound as one of his chosen charities.
For more information about child sexual exploitation, Safe and Sound Derby and the Butterfly Appeal please visitwww.safeandsoundgroup.co.uk and follow on social media. A powerful video outlining young people’s experiences and why local people and businesses should support Safe and Sound is online at https://youtu.be/xjcb1y2cfGE
In the UK today, one in 20 children suffer sexual abuse which includes child sexual exploitation. That means that in every classroom in Derbyshire, there is at least one vulnerable young person in need of help.
Child Sexual Exploitation (commonly referred to as CSE) is a form of child sexual abuse and takes many different forms from rape and sexual assault to online grooming and encouraging children to share inappropriate images of themselves.
CSE is a particularly manipulative form of abuse and is also linked to such criminal exploitation issues such as County Lines, gangs, trafficking and modern slavery.
The key factor is that individuals or groups take advantage of young people by manipulating or deceiving them into sexual activity in exchange for something the victim needs or wants. This could range from money and alcohol to less tangible things such as the attention that they crave at a vulnerable time in their lives.