The event is designed for young people aged between 14 and 21 with a range of support needs who complete one of several routes suited to their abilities.
Leon, who is supported by SLSW Carer Jonathan Bevins, spent the night before the challenge camping at Okehampton Army Camp with his friends and peers from Mayfield School/College before the big day.
“Most of it was completed in a Delichon All Terrain Buggy, but he got out of the buggy and walk (supported on both sides) the final uphill to the finishing line,” said Jon.
“You could see the joy on his face at the end and was in serious need of a good rest and sleep.”
“Watching Leon accomplish something like The Jubilee Challenge brings a lot of joy to all our family as we have known Leon since he was five years old and have seen him overcome many challenges in life, which will have no doubt left their mark, but also goes to show that with the right care, support and professional input a young person like Leon should never be written off,” said Jon supportingly.
Shared Lives South West Carers
The family has provided fostering respite for his family for more than ten years, before talks in 2018 for Leon to move in with Jon’s family long term.
“Leon convinced us that we should continue caring for him post-18 and so last year the wheels were set in motion to become Shared Lives South West Carers in order that when he turned 18 the transition to adulthood for him would be seamless and continue to be a positive experience for him,” said Jonathan.
“As new Shared Lives Carers the greatest difference from fostering has to be the diminished paperwork!! Although it is still a “job” it feels more of a calling and life choice that benefits a wider circle of people than a career, plus we have the knowledge that Leon now has a forever home.”
As a household they enjoy lots of outdoor experiences together including holidays.
“We now have his all-terrain buggy, accessing those areas which were previously out of bounds for him, such as Dartmoor and wooded walks,” said Jonathan.
“Last October Leon and I also completed a 22 mile walk to raise money for two sensory rooms at his respite centre and school. He really is an outdoorsy lad!!”
A big well done to Leon on completing The Jubilee Challenge from us all at SLSW.