Halifax man to attempt nine consecutive mountain climbs in support of Red Cross aid in Ukraine

A Halifax man will attempt to climb the highest mountain in England nine consecutive times next month to raise money for the Red Cross.

By Tom Scargill
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 11:26 am
From left: Kelly Wetherall, Liam Wetherall, Olinda Olekaewyz, Stephen Oleksewycz, Lindsey Oleksewycz and Jack Newsham

Stephen Oleksewycz, 39, who lives in Stainland, will try to climb the summit of Scafell Pike nine times, starting at 6am on May 13 over 60 hours, having been moved by the plight of the people of Ukraine in the conflict with Russia.

Both Stephen's grandfathers are from Ukraine, and he still has extended family in the country.

"My granddads, Leo Sawrij and Stefan Olekesewycz, moved to the UK after the war, they loved this country and went on to prosper with successful businesses," Stephen said.

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"We grew up in full Ukrainian tradition, going to the Halifax Ukrainian club, taking language lessons and entering Ukrainian dancing competitions.

"We have extended relatives out there now. We've been told they're safe but are finding it very difficult so we are just sending love and praying for news.

"I just feel shocked that something like this is actually happening in this day and age.

"Our grandparents battled world wars so that this would never happen again.

"It's unacceptable and we are all praying for a quick resolution as there are young kids and families dying daily."

Stephen says his love for Ukraine and his granddads is his motivation for undertaking the challenge.

"I did 105 laps of Scammonden Steps in 2020 so I had to think of something more horrific than that, and this was it.

"Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England but many will back me up by saying it's also the hardest, most brutal mountain to climb, so to do nine consecutive summits will be horrendous!

"It will be the same elevation as Mount Everest, which says it all.

"The money raised will go to the Red Cross, who are on the front line now.

"I'll be doing the summits alone but I'll have all my staff who work for my businesses Experience With and Arnold Sports Festival UK, as well as friends and family, supporting me and doing some of the climbs with me."

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com and search Everest 4 Ukraine.