A MONMOUTHSHIRE boy is gearing up for a huge challenge – with the help of a former Dragon.

Dante Valaydon-Pillay, 10, from Raglan, is set to climb Sugarloaf Mountain once a day for five days in a row over the Easter holidays to raise money for Children in Need.

Dante will be joined by former Dragons number eight Ed Jackson on the climb after being inspired by his journey.

Dante decided to do the climb to help other young people after family and friends stepped in to care for him when mum Frances Valaydon-Pillay had a sudden stroke in 2017 after having her appendix removed and was left in a coma.


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Dante decided to raise money for Children in Need as, although he received a lot of care and support during this troubling time, he knew others weren’t as lucky, and saw adverts for the charity.

Dante said: “I’m really up for this challenge! I can’t wait to give it a go.”

Ms Valaydon-Pillay said: “I’m so proud of him. This challenge is just perfect for him as he’s incredibly brave and resilient. He’s also a little person with such a big heart.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic when he was learning from home, Dante learned about Ed Jackson, who, in 2017, was left with a severe spinal injury after a swimming pool accident and created the charity M2M for the millimetres he moved his toe after the accident to the mountains he is now climbing.

Dante wrote to Mr Jackson and was delighted when he wrote back and said he would join him on his first climb. He has also received hiking kit from Mountain Warehouse.

“I was so happy and excited, I couldn’t wait to tell my teacher and friends,” Dante said after receiving his response from Mr Jackson.

“I’m really excited about receiving the hiking kit from Mountain Warehouse and meeting Ed Jackson.”

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So far, Dante has received more than £400 in donations. “I’m overwhelmed by the donations as I thought that I’d only receive £10 from my mum," he said. "Even a nice lady at the bus stop gave me a donation. Everyone’s donation will make a big difference to Children in Need.”

You can donate to Dante’s fundraising page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/littlepersonmightymountian